Saturday, October 13, 2007

Recumbent & Road Bike cyclists - WHY the attutude?

Dear EZ Biker, we are having an issue with the Diamond Frame bunch verses an ex DF cyclist, now riding a recumbent. My husband and I belong to a rather large bicycle club that has mostly DF frame cyclists. There are a few recumbent cyclists, (Including my husband) that are constantly being teased and basically are shunned by others, because of their bike choice. It’s as if they are lepers or something. We are still in the, c’mon you can ride with us, because at least your wife still has a DF bike mode at the moment. Anyway, I’ve finally decided to try my husbands recumbent (Bacchetta Giro) and the neck and arm pain I experience with my road bike is not a problem on the recumbent. So I’m pretty much sold on a recumbents. My concern is that our bicycle group will not want to have anything to do with us anymore. What to do?

Diane, this is actually a question I get asked often about and have done tons of emails in response to the issue. There are just so many opinions out there concerning this. My initial response is basically this: The HARDEST THING to learn about recumbents is how to deal with either being accepted or spurned by your fellow cyclists. This honestly is the BIGGEST STIGMA that works against would be cyclists wanting to go bent. It’s that, OHHH NO; you are being drawn to the dark side! Most groups are tolerant towards recumbents, but then there are those other types... As such some groups are just tribal about anyone participating with them on anything except what the majority of them ride on. I guess the best suggestion I can offer here is: What is MORE important to you all? Being able to bicycle on the kind of bike that’s really comfortable and that YOU choose to ride on or continue to endure the discomfort of that other kind of bike, to continue to fit in with your bicycle group. This seemingly is an easy solution and yet it’s really a daunting challenge for some people to all of a sudden, become an outcast (Or lepers like you mentioned) of their fellow friends in an activity, they done for so long together. I think in time your group will honestly accept the kind of bikes you ride and the jokes and teasing will diminish. BUT YOU all have to make the final decision, on weather you want to put up with the initial CHILDISH attutudes from some people. :-)

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