Recumbents differ from the more common sorts of bike in that you sit or lie in a seat which supports your back instead of perching astride a saddle, and the pedals are at the front, so that your legs are roughly horizontal. The idea is to increase riding comfort and reduce air resistance.

Cycle Vision 2003

Since I first saw a recumbent, I’ve been fascinated by them. There is something about that laid-back riding posture that sets them apart from everything else on the road. Just as it has been proved according to the laws of aerodynamics that it’s impossible for bees to fly, you can’t see a recumbent going past without wondering how such a thing could possibly be stable. If you don’t know what I mean, try spending an afternoon at a local hpv race meeting.

Curiosity got the better of me in 1996, when I made an appointment to go and test ride some recumbents, courtesy of Frank ter Braak at De Liggende Hollander in Eindhoven. They were kind enough to let me spend most of an afternoon attempting to ride up and down the road on various bizarre machines, before arranging to rent one for a week. Inevitably, I decided that I wanted on for myself, so I ordered a Challenge Wizard, and my basement started to fill up with bikes…