|Hugh Blemings's Blog|
Thu, 25 Nov 2004
At lunchtime today took a breather from work and thanks to the folk at Fuse Recumbents took a Greenspeed GT3 out for a test ride. This is their entry level/commuter trike and I have to say was really quite impressed.
Since we sold the STi we've gone back to being a one car family, hence I've been riding into work 3-4 days a week, taking the car, bus or getting a lift the other days. In general I try to ride and that's been pretty much the norm since I got back from the US. Quite like the ride - it's about 16km (10mi) each way and takes around 50 minutes, good bit of exercise plus time to ponder as I go along. Have some panniers so can tote laptop and a change of clothes etc. without any ado.
I've always been interested in the whole recumbent thing, in part from conversations I've had with Richard over the years - he has had Greenspeed trikes for many years. My thought was that if it was to be my prime means of transport for the daily commute then perhaps a trike could be justified, certainly look more comfortable.
I rode the GT3 for about 30 minutes all told - covered about 5km I think taking a route that included at least part of my usual ride. Overall impressions were very very favourable. I particuarly liked the fact that because you're sitting down you're looking straight ahead rather than having to tilt your head back in order to see forwards. The seating is way more comfortable too and I've got a pretty decent seat on my bike. Finally, and by no means least, much less weight (basically none) on your arms so I didn't get any pins and needles in my hands which I get on the bike from time to time. Climbing hills is a breeze - despite being confined to the tallest main ring (my fault, told Michael from Fuse that I was taller than I was so he'd fitted a longer chain)
Only two downsides came to mind as I pedalled. You're much more reliant on wing mirrors as you can't turn around to look behind you to anywhere the same degree as you can on a bike, plus you're lower so this reduces your ability to see to some degree too. Secondly you are (obviously) rather lower so possibly less likely to be seen by cars/other bikes etc., flags notwithstanding. My cousin John (who averages a few hundred km a week on his bike) made the observation that you're well below the windows of most cars so riding in traffic could be rather perilous. Obviously I need to mull these over further.