Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Blood on the Trail

Riding home from work today on the good ol' Burke-Gilman Trail, watched a recumbent cyclist take a nice crash. He was up ahead a ways, but I still had a good view of the festivities. Went down quick on its side and slid a bit down the trail.

Recumbent bikes are weird enough to begin with, so interesting - and yeah, slightly humorous - to see one wad up at speed. This one had the whole windshield and huge plastic aero tail piece shtick going on. To put on my wise ass hat, if these contraptions are so aerodynamic and fast, why do I never see one riding faster then 15 mph?

In any case, I caught up to the guy before he even untangled himself from the smoldering wreckage, as did someone else riding in the opposite direction. Pretty big older dude, baffled as to why he crashed - while he examined his bleeding elbow - dripping nicely by this point.

"It just went down on me", "I'm bleeding like a stuck pig" comments as he stood up. I notice blood smears on the yellow plastic tail section. The other cyclist checks his front tire - totally flat - that explains it. Quick loss of air, washed out front end, recumbent and pilot sliding sideways on pavement. Ouch.

We ask if he needs any help, besides the cut elbow - he looks fine. I mention I'm carrying no spare tubes for that wheel size. I think about patching the tube for him, 'cept I'm in a rush to get home for an appointment - running late as is already.

He says he's okay, will call his wife to pick him up. "Are you sure?" "Yeah." The other cyclist asks again, with the same response. He's got it covered.

With that I take off for home, guilt free. I would have patched the tube if needed, just the way I am. Fellow cyclist is a fellow cyclist - even on a recumbent.

I thought about grabbing a few pictures of the carnage, thought that would be rude - so skipped it. How often do you see a crashed, blood stained recumbent?

Hey, admit it - you'd check out the pics if posted....


  1. Nice post.
    Absolutely, I'd be checking out the pics. I would like to try a recumbent, ONCE, and only ONCE. I have at times had recumbentists try to persuade me that is the way to ride. Not a chance. It just ain't right.
    I've heard they climb terrible, you can't put your body "sway" into a climb like you can a standard bicycle.

  2. Yeah-the recumbent bikes are just damn weird. Can't wheelie 'em, ride off road, or even pop up over a curb.

    I have a friend back east, used to road race CAT 4 class, until back issues rendered a normal bike out of the picture. He then converted to a recumbent for a few years. Bit of a culture shock.

  3. We want the pictures. I made me a Recumbent from 2 old bikes, took it for a ride and realized I couldn't stand up on hills, I don't ride it much anymore.

  4. @mrbill. You're recumbent sounds even scarier then a "normal" one.

    That's true - no standing for climbs. They should just call 'em "Sit 'N' Spins".