Embracing the Weird

The conversion of upright bikes to recumbents continues. I figure that if I’m going to go recumbent, I’m going to embrace it wholeheartedly and without reservations instead of being depressed about it. Next thing you know I’ll be calling conventional bicycles “upwrongs” and bragging about all the time trialists I’m passing on my recumbent. So I’m not going to call them redumbents any more. I’M ALL IN BABY!

As part of the conversion, I’m doing some extensive indoor training this year on Trainer Road, which so far is pretty amazing because it gives me a quantitative view of my improvement over time. The ultimate goal is a sub-4 century–if I’m going to ride a recumbent I might as well be really fast, right? I doubt I’ll hit a sub-4 this year, but the goal is for next spring. Nevertheless, I have a 100-mile course mapped in NJ with only 1000 feet of climbing across the whole 100 miles. I’ll be making monthly pilgrimages to that course starting in July or so.

So the sale of my upright bikes has left me awash in cash to reinvest in recumbents. Along with my trike, I have two 2-wheeled bikes coming.

The first is a classic: The Challenge Fujin SL II. The theme for this one is light, super light. Built with conventional components this bike is around 17.6 pounds. I’m hoping to get mine closer to 16 lbs. That’s really light for a recumbent. Actually, I’ve been spoiled by my 14-pound English…16 lbs is light for any bike. Di2, please! Also I’ll have a monoblade on the front. I have a very, very good bike builder helping me build this bike. I’m not going to mention his name because I don’t think he wants to make a business out of modifying and building recumbents…it was super-kind of him to help me out on this!

The Fujin has been in production since 2006. Strangely, it was designed such that it is barely functional out of the box, so it requires extensive modifications to be rideable. Only in the recumbent world would a bike be manufactured for 10 years that is broken out of the box. With recumbents, I’m learning, you’re not really buying a bike, you’re buying a project. This is probably a moot point though, because my bike might be one of the last new ones sold in the United States–Challenge has apparently given up responding to e-mails or, you know, actually trying to sell bikes.

An aside: Is it just me, or did Google recently change their algorithm to make searches next to useless? All I get from Google are shopping results these days? It’s gotten to the point where I automatically click on page 2 to skip the garbage. Something is wrong there… Anyway, I switched to DuckDuckGo, which seems to have greater utility these days.

Back to topic: The second bike is a Zockra. I have a deposit down on one, but haven’t heard anything about when it is coming. The theme for this bike is aero, super aero.

That’s all for now. I’m going to write a post in a bit about my experiences with Trainer Road.


7 thoughts on “Embracing the Weird

  1. Marc E.

    so glad you are embracing the recumbent. Still can’t get over that you sold those gravel bikes. You had inspired me to build mine a few years back. Now gravel bikes and rides have become a “movement” that you are likely to get some credit for starting. Keep up the great work, and thanks for sharing.

    1. John Ferguson Post author

      Yeah when I got the English 650B everyone was like WTF is that? Also had a terrible/good time getting the gearing right, now there are all sorts of options that are appropriate for gravel bikes.

  2. James

    SO sorry to see you spending time and money with recumbents. They are all dangerous and you will soon be in for a WeKneeDragger experience. Crippled for life when you get smacked by a motor vehicle while you fail to pay attention to traffic. Recumbents are best for bike trails NOT roads. They will soon be banned from banned from every road in America with new bicycles only road legislature gets passed.

    Get a real bike. Trek is a fine brand of bicycle. Learn how to ride real bikes by respectable cycling coaches instead of being mislead by Thom Ollinger and fellow idiots at BentRetardsOnLine.

    1. John Ferguson Post author

      Cheers! You’ve convinced me, I’ll go buy a Trek. Could you help me decide on the right bike for me? When I type “Trek” into the internet, I get all sorts of bicycles. Some have flat bars, some have curly bars. Some have many sprockets and some have only a few or none! Some are made of iron, some of steel, some of aluminum. There are even some that are made of plastic! There are so many real bicycles to choose from, I need your help.

      Also too. What is a WeKneeDragger? It sounds vaguely vulgar.

      And help me understand what does this “new bicycles only road legislature” mean for me? Does it mean that I can only ride a new bicycle? Where did you find this information. I am very concerned, because I can’t afford a new bicycle every time I ride!

      You seem very angry.

    2. Jim Finger

      Possibly the funniest thing I have read online in a long time is some random dude telling a guy that owns a Rene Herse that he he should learn to ride a “real bike” like a Trek.

      I also was not aware that only Recumbent bikes are in danger of getting hit by cars. I’m sure my diamond frame friends will be relieved to hear that.


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