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What the hell was that?!?(11 posts)

What the hell was that?!?gs6769
Aug 25, 2002 6:19 AM
So here's me, spinning along a little traveled, tree lined asphalt road which runs through a nature preserve next to the Mississippi River. Cadence about 105, speed 22 when a white object appeared quickly to my left. My first thought was that it was a small white sports car which was tuned so quietly I hadn't heard it's engine. As the fast moving object overtook me and pulled away at speed however, it became apparent that the land missile in question was a recumbant cycle sheathed in a white nylon fairing. Looking down at the Flight Deck, now reading 23+ I could conservatively estimate the rider's speed at 30-35 mph. A quick (all I had time for!)look under the fairing seemed to put the operators cadence somewhere in the 75-85 rpm range. What can one say but "wow"?
Soon after, it turned out that the recumbant rider and I stopped for a break in the same river side park. A pleasant chat with 'rocket man' revealed that he'd designed and built the fairing himself out of aircraft nylon and it shrouded a stock cycle with a basic road drivetrain setup, 53x39 chainrings, 12-25 cassette, SPD pedals. He said that one of the advantages he's found in riding this beast is that with a cruising speed of 30+, topping at close to 40 on flats, automobile traffic tends to give him quite a wide berth. He's also pretty hard to miss seeing, hence the 'gawk factor' adds to his sense of safety in traffic. This winter he's planning to refine his design for even greater aerodynamic advantage. Here's hoping I have the honor to be passed at even greater speed in a year's time.
OLN had a segment on the Recumbobent_spoke
Aug 25, 2002 6:50 AM
Evidently, they have a higher top speed due to the fact that by lying down, you have less wind resistence. I was amazed that they could go that much faster. I believe the top end record was over 60mph & more for shorter distances. The flip side is that the speed & comfort is counter balanced by a lack of manuverability & "the geek factor".

I don't think I'll be getting one any time soon.
OLN had a segment on the Recumbotmotz
Aug 25, 2002 10:53 AM
I will have to say at least hes trying.Every mile he commutes with that is better for the environment and less import oil.
OLN had a segment on the Recumbofbg111
Aug 25, 2002 2:11 PM
The fact that he built it himself gives it a darn cool "geek factor" that I'd love to have any day! Wonder if they'll ever have some sort of racing league(s) for such contraptions. Any chance we'll ever see one win the Tour de France?
... not in our lifetimes...Akirasho
Aug 25, 2002 5:31 PM
... the UCI has banned the type for over 68 years... with no signs of a reversal (ala Giant and the compact frame).

... and there are several HPV organizations (see other reply... this post) as well as other sanctioning events for them.

If I still have a job by winter... I hope to put a torch to metal (experiment with a few junk frames).

We abide.

Remain In Light.
WISPORTnoveread
Aug 26, 2002 6:56 AM
WISPORT here in Wisconsin has a recumbenant category. Two in fact, fared and non-fared.

Andy
Ya, but wait till he gets to hillJS
Aug 25, 2002 10:22 AM
bigger than a driveway and promptly gets dropped like the rock it resembles.
re: What the hell was that?!?Akirasho
Aug 25, 2002 12:52 PM
http://www.wisil.recumbents.com/wisil/
http://www.ihpva.org/
http://www.wisil.recumbents.com/wisil/whatsup.htm

The term "recumbent" is about as generic as "bicycle" and it's somewhat unfair to describe all of them based on a single example... while most 'bent designs do suffer a bit on climbs... some of their "other side" speeds are equivalent to "$hit through a goose"... often more than making up the gap.

Funny, but I was recumbent bound this afternoon when I came across a local builder/designer (noted on the WISIL site) aboard his unfaired streamliner... he was test riding said... in preparation for upcoming time trials. Many a local faired 'bent rider will time trial a relatively flat local course in excess of 30 mph... with top dibs around 35 (I know that's Armstrongesque... but these guys can't spend 8 hours per day in the saddle).


... that's the old frame under the fairing on the right and a work in progress on the left.

We abide.

Remain In Light.
Oh my! Major league gear inches. (nm)Spoke Wrench
Aug 25, 2002 1:20 PM
Try 76.6 mph...aeon
Aug 26, 2002 12:22 AM
The world record is held by the Varna Diablo, based (apparantly) somewhere around my home of Vancouver. Course, that's only for a 200m sprint...

http://www.fortebikes.com/Diablo.htm
Try 76.6 mph...aliensporebomb
Aug 27, 2002 2:57 AM
Geez. If I saw one of those things while riding about I'd probably ride into the ditch
thinking a UFO was going to abduct me. Cool.