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Re: Give the Gift of Exercise (couple uses Christmas gifts to improve fitness and wins gold)

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@2Papa wrote:

Those recumbent bikes are too close to the ground to be seen by vehicle drivers. I feel they are dangerous because of that.  Me and the wife love our fold up bikes!


I understand the concern. I thought that as well, until I started riding them. We rode 3,400 miles this year, mostly on paved bike trails, but I can report that after a handful of small group rides that involved stretches of rural and city roadway; particpating in a 62-mile road ride through the Colorado National Monument; training on a steep country road in preparation to race our trikes at the Huntsman World Senior Games' uphill event (we won gold), that trikes are far more visible than one suspects.

 

We wear bright colors (friends tease that we are addicted to day-glo), use safety flags (more day-glo), and ride defensively. In those 3,400 miles, I've had one mishap. A few weeks ago, a teenager was walking his dog offleash on one of the paved trails we frequent. His dog ran from behind me, then cut in front and I reacted with a too-hard pull of the brakes, which caused one wheel to raise up, which then caused me to spill out of the trike. Of course I was sitting a few inches off the ground, so I was a little bruised but not seriously hurt (and neither was the dog, but I admit I gave that lad a tongue lashing).

 

All that said, yes indeed, when I am in a bike lane riding next to parked cars I am on high alert because a car door opened by an unaware person could cause a triker considerable injury. So I avoid that situation as much as possible and ride like they really are trying to kill me when I cannot avoid said situation. Smiley Happy And I have a clown horn for announcing my presence or asking for space as needed. :0)

"The key to success is to keep growing in all areas of life - mental, emotional, spiritual, as well as physical." Julius Erving
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Re: Give the Gift of Exercise (couple uses Christmas gifts to improve fitness and wins gold)

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Those recumbent bikes are too close to the ground to be seen by vehicle drivers. I feel they are dangerous because of that.  Me and the wife love our fold up bikes!

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Re: Give the Gift of Exercise (couple uses Christmas gifts to improve fitness and wins gold)

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...


"The key to success is to keep growing in all areas of life - mental, emotional, spiritual, as well as physical." Julius Erving
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Re: Give the Gift of Exercise (couple uses Christmas gifts to improve fitness and wins gold)

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Here's an old (2011) AARP article about the pros and cons of recumbents. There's plenty of spam in the comments section, but also plenty of comments from other riders. Take a look: http://www.aarp.org/health/healthy-living/info-07-2011/recumbent-trikes.html

"The key to success is to keep growing in all areas of life - mental, emotional, spiritual, as well as physical." Julius Erving
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Re: Give the Gift of Exercise (couple uses Christmas gifts to improve fitness and wins gold)

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One more thing: I mentioned in a previous comment that I used to have a Sun EZ3 trike. That's the trike that has a cushioned seat with a back. The rider sits upright, at about eye level to a car driver. It's a relatively inexpensive trike, selling new at around $1,200.

 

Here now my comment: I sold mine about a year ago via craigslist for $600.

 

So you don't have to spend a ton in order to cycle comfortably on a recumbent. 

"The key to success is to keep growing in all areas of life - mental, emotional, spiritual, as well as physical." Julius Erving
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Re: Give the Gift of Exercise (couple uses Christmas gifts to improve fitness and wins gold)

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A person does not need to be in a couple to enjoy getting in shape with a recumbent trike. We have friends who ride every week with disabled vets on trikes: a way to give back and also to get in shape! There are recumbent riding groups, clubs, meetups, online forums, et cetera to help one find organized trike rides in your area. I suggest starting with http://www.bentrideronline.com 's message board to find deals on used recumbents, riders in your area, a host of experts and armchair quarterbacks willing to offer their knowledge on any given recumbent issue.

 

A bunch of us recently went for a full moon ride on a local bike trail. (Big time fun!) Another time this summer some of us met with Floridians who were passing through for a 45 mile trike ride. Our local group typically has at least one group ride a week and often two a week during the summer. Who knows? You may even meet someone exciting and pair off. Smiley Happy 

 

 

"The key to success is to keep growing in all areas of life - mental, emotional, spiritual, as well as physical." Julius Erving
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Re: Give the Gift of Exercise (couple uses Christmas gifts to improve fitness and wins gold)

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I'm glad you voiced your misgivings, it gives me the opportunity to pontificate on a favorite subject. Smiley Happy (So bear with me, eh?)

 

Indeed they do make a trike (Sun EZ3 retails at about $1,200) that has the comfy seat but sits more upright. I had one of these, and it was great for rehab (I'd suffered repeated leg injuries, which made hiking nearly impossible). Once I was able to get my moving average over 10 MPH, though, I found the higher center of gravity of the EZ3 to be a serious safety hazzard. The EZ3 is great for tooling around, and if you only want/need to burn a few hundred calories, but if senior games competition is your aim, you'll need to invest in a better trike. 

 

And you are correct: recumbents are not cheap to buy or maintain. Neither, may I remind you, is poor health cheap. I read that diabetes supplies cost over $900 a month. 

 

So if cost is the main concern, walking is a great all-round form of exercise, and one that has a low risk of causing injury. So maybe pledge to take a 1-5 mi walk a week with someone as a gift that will give all year long. That said, I walked 3.25 miles at 3.2 MPH 5-6 times a week for over a year and Did. Not. Lose. One. Pound. Once I ramped up to 4.5 miles at 4.1 MPH five times a week, my menopause pounds did come off. During that time, though, I was also triking 75 miles at a moving average of 14.6 MPH once a week ... anyway, I'm thinking of writing up a ditty on all that for New Year's (resolution inspiration). 

 

Back to costs: all told, we spent quite a bit on flags, shoes, apparel, car rack, locks, helmets & visors, upgraded components, et cetera. We expect these trikes to last us 25 years, so the trikes and gear plus annual maintenance fees will end up costing us about $65 per month over the life of the trikes. A bargain for what it gives us, and there are no gym memberships or trainer fees to pay. Still, to afford it, we chose to do without birthday, anniversary and Christmas gifts for a year which means for Christmas this year we will be triking instead of opening gifts. We feel greatly blessed to have made this health positive choice. But, you know, that's us: your mileage may vary.

 

A person can get away with spending less than 2 grand for either a lesser trike model (think EZ3) or a used upper end trike. 

 

Regarding safety: except for well organized, traffic controlled rides, we simply do not ride on roads. There are great bike path communities, and many of them are specifically catering to retirees (Hi Florida, Ohio, Oregon, Idaho, Utah and Colorado!) so a person doesn't have to ride on the street. We live in an area with hundreds of miles of paved bike paths.

 

Also on the safety issue, bright flags are vital! As are brightly colored clothes, trikes and helmets in terms of making one seen. What we hear most often (having ridden 3,300 paved bike trail miles in hi vis yellow t shirts) is that people can see us a mile away. A certain exaggeration, however, the point is that on a bike path, these trikes are as safe as the rider chooses to be.

"The key to success is to keep growing in all areas of life - mental, emotional, spiritual, as well as physical." Julius Erving
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Re: Give the Gift of Exercise (couple uses Christmas gifts to improve fitness and wins gold)

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I would be nervous about a recumbent bike, because you're lower down, and neither have as good a view of other vehicles, nor do they have as good a one of you. They're also more expensive than conventional bikes. I wonder if anyone's every considered a "hybrid", where you were as high up as a conventional bike, but there were 2 back weeks for stability, and a back on the seat for comfort!

 

I do get the idea of giving the gift of exercise, but it's a big question as to whether the recipient would actually use it, if they hadn't before. My guess is that these things work better with couples, where the giver participates with the recipient.

 

If I had someone to give me an expensive holiday gift (which I don't), I'd love to double my personal training sessions from once-a-week to twice a week .. an investment of about $2,500 for the year.


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Give the Gift of Exercise (couple uses Christmas gifts to improve fitness and wins gold)

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Here's an idea for this holiday season: this couple gave one another the tools they needed to improve fitness, and ended up winning gold medals. 

 

 

Loveland couple pedals to gold on recumbent trikes
Last year's Christmas gift brings year-long joy

By Pamela Johnson

 

This Loveland couple treated themselves to three-wheeled recumbent cycles last Christmas — a gift that, they say, is still bringing them joy as well as improved health and fitness.

 

Oh, and there's four gold medals, two each, that they earned in early October at the Huntsman World Senior Games in St. George, Utah — one of only three senior games that allow recumbent cycles and the only one to add courses for trikes.

 

 

"I think it's a really great way for seniors to get exercise!"

 

Both described the recumbents (cycles with seats that resemble chairs, complete with a back, in which the riders sit close to the ground) as a method of "pain-free riding," an opportunity for seniors to keep fit and active.

 

 

"The key to success is to keep growing in all areas of life - mental, emotional, spiritual, as well as physical." Julius Erving
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