Tuesday, May 10, 2005


New Orleans Ride

I was in New Orleans last weekend attending a graduation cerimony for a family member. I decided to check out Laid Back tour while I as down there.

They have a unique set up. They are not a traditional bike shop. They rent bicycles and kayaks. Nice folks. They also do tours of New Orleans. I decided yto rent a recumbent bicycle for the day just to ride and see how a recumbent handles in traffic. Also New Orleans in FLAT. When I first test rode a RANS Stratu a few years ago it was in a hill area in Birmingham, Alabama. So I was learning to ride a bent as well as climb hills. It wasn't fun and it was downright scary.

I got to their shop around 12:30 or so. They've got mountian bikes and a few recumbents: EZ-1, EZ-3 trike, and a Burley Koosah. I considered the trike but it looked too heavy. EZ-1 too short. So, I chose the big blue Burley.

The guy, I can't remember his name, was very nice. Last time I rode a recumbent I had trouble with starts and stops. He told a simple trick: Fred Flinstone! Yup, just start running like Fred Flinstone to get started then get your feet up and go.

Well, I didn't want to look anymore stupid than I already appeared. So, I sought other options. The reason bents are harder to start is because you don't have gravity to help you. On a regular bicycle gravity does most of the work. With your feet out in front it's all muscle.

The other option was to gear down low and pedal faster. This way seemed much more appealing. I got on, put my foot on the pedal, and hope I wouldn't crack my skull, pedaled off. I rode around the parking lot for about 20 minutes to get the hang of it. Twisting and turning. Pedaling and Smiling. I managed to get he hang of it. Didn't take long at all.

They gave me a map of the area, told where to food places were and I was off on an adventure around New Orleans.

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