Saturday, February 4, 2012

They're Looking at Me

The circus is coming to town or at least it must look that way as people stare at me as I ride my trike with Betzi in tow. Yep...that's what it looks like, flags, streamers, lights, funny looking trike and a crazy dog sticking her head out of her circus trailer.
Does all the attention from passing motorists bother me? Not in the least. On the practical side attention translates into safety on the road. For some the public display of deviating from the norm might drive them to the medicine cabinet for their anti-anxiety meds. I am not asking for attention and I would prefer to not  have people looking at me and scratching their heads. But it is only human nature for people stare at the unusual and I simply ignore it. It happens, I can't blame them, I'm use to it and it doesn't bother me. I don't want life to pass me by because I care about how I look while riding my trike.

Riding a traditional bicycle is no longer comfortable for me. Actually riding a "normal" bicycle has never really been comfortable but it's what we're expected to ride (A little bit of cycling history). Right now riding any kind of bicycle, including a recumbent,  doesn't appeal to me as much as riding a trike. Trikes are fun and there is a trike for every style of riding. My Catrike Expedition is for cruising, errands and eventual touring. My Catrike 700 with it's 2.25  inches of ground clearance is for speed. My mood dictates what I ride.

Regarless of which trike I choose to ride I attract attention. Cars slow down to allow their occupants time to digest what is before their eyes. Others will sit at a stop sign longer or be slow to continue on when a signal turns green. With very little exception all the attention is positive.

Not only cars but pedestrians give me a look of puzzlement for which a wave and a hello break their trance. I make contact with every pedestrian and cyclist I cross paths with. I can't say that everyone makes contact with me but I try. I consider myself sort of an ambassador for alternative human powered vehicles. 

Recumbent riders have broken away from the main stream cycling community's expectations of conformity. We have chosen not to let the cycling industry lull us into thinking that sitting on a bicycle with a tiny seat up our rear end and hunched over a set of handle bars with the weight of our upper torso over our arms is the only proper way to ride a bike. 

Whether recumbent riders ride for the comfort, the competitive edge or both we ride to enjoy life. 

Let the people stare at me while I ride my trike. Let them watch me enjoy my life. I can only imagine how many of the gawkers wish they could break the mold of conformity and enjoy their life in a similar fashion.

Go ahead and tell me I'm not having fun!

1 comment:

  1. A-men brother!

    Cool blog Mark. I am interested to read your past posts on the 700. That is the trike I've been eyeing. One day I will make the transition from 2 to 3 wheels.