January 29, 2007

Why recumbents are ambassadors for cycling

From the Rapid Transit Bicycles (Chicago) website, indeed this is a worthy insight:

Riding a recumbent is a different and eye-opening experience for both the rider and others on the road.

Itís not just because of their unusual appearance, but because their unorthodox design makes so much sense. The recumbent rider is comfortably seated, while propelling the vehicle with formidable efficiency and speed. People see a recumbent, and immediately realize that riding a bike doesnít have to hurt anymore. They often demand to know where they can try one.

A recumbent in traffic can turn a grumpy bus driver into a kindly fellow with a smile and a friendly wave. It makes motorists slow down and take notice. Because drivers are intrigued by the quirky appearance and rider position, they somehow manage to sidestep the question of whether it really belongs on the street. The uniqueness of a recumbent paradoxically assures its fairly ready acceptance in traffic.

Thatís why recumbents are ambassadors for cycling. Peopleís response to recumbents is spontaneous and voluntary. While they may view other bicycles as a nuisance, the recumbent captures their imagination and makes them forget they donít approve of bicycles on the road. In that momentary lapse, they become less sure of their conviction and more receptive to change.

Posted by mkreig at January 29, 2007 08:34 PM