Saturday, April 10, 2010

'Bent Ladies

One thing that has fascinated me about riding recumbents is the odd reaction that comes from roadies at times. Sometimes when passing (or being passed) the comments are underhanded jabs at the type of bike I ride. Other times they are serious questions about the pros/cons of a recumbent. On occasion its hard to tell if the comments are serious of just another lame attack on a guys masculinity for no other reason than riding something apart from the Type-A crowd.

Either way, when my wife got a recumbent and switched from her road bike I noticed some interesting things.

First, in the past when I was riding with my wife, she was on her road bike and I was on my recumbent. Almost without fail the lycra clad crowd would roll up to us, and immediately strike up conversation with her ignoring my very existence. Sometimes even interrupting our own conversation. When I would speak up, inevitably a scoffed look would be shot my way. Sorry wannabelance - she's taken and don't interrupt our conversation and ride by slowing up and trying to throw down your lame Type-A game.

Now, when my wife started riding a recumbent is when the real confusion for the roadies starts. You see, recumbents are "supposed to be" (per some) the sole world of aerobelly bearded old dudes, the infirm, the slow, the whatever group - but NOT for good looking younger women.

I remember fondly riding similar routes and rides with my wife just after the "post-convert" stage. With both of us on recumbents what would be the reaction of the testosterone-laden to a women on a 'bent? Sometimes the results were funny and enough to almost send a few roadies into the ditch in disbelief.

The basic reaction has often times been thus: rider slowly passing me, I say "hi!" to which I might get no response. Sometimes I get a bewildered look and a speed up the cadence. Same rider then passes women on 'bent. Does double take. Realizes he just passed a woman. On a recumbent. Slows down to commence long talk with woman on recumbent asking inquisitive questions about the benefits, etc etc etc.


Well, maybe not so crazy. They are just filling their role trying anything possible to capture a piece I guess, even if it is talking nice to a rider about a bike platform they would otherwise ridicule in front of their own friends.

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