cookie32 wrote:Very good question, why are they so rare?
I have a few ideas, the first and most obvious being people do what they know an are comfortable with. Its a shame but I find peoples closed minds to be the biggest obstacle to them giving recumbent's a go. I always get a funny giggle/laugh, then I'm asked is it difficult or whats it like to ride? I always try to be polite ass possible and even offer stranger a chance to have a seat, being 6'2 and of large stature a ride is normally out of the question. 9 times out of 10 the person in question gives a quick no thanks and continues to laugh or stare sheepishly. For some reason seating with a post up our bums hunched over some handlebars is firmly fixed in the normal bike riders head from that first push off from mom or dad and until we break that fixation I don't see there being a large sway from upright to recumbent.
I'd say the second barrier, is the prices to get a recumbent even and older or entry level one. I built my first recumbent after coming out of the services as a way to keep busy and a way to get rid of some of the weight after leaving the Military. I've always enjoyed bike riding but I've never been comfortable on a upright so I knew if I wanted to ride it'd have to be something else, that something else was my version of a Atomic Zombie Tomahawk. Wasn't as expensive as something new and i got to spread the cost over about 5 or 6 months of building and it was bargain basement if I'm being nice but we saw a nice few thousand miles together before I sold it on. Then I got hold of a second hand PDQ for a steal off a friend, it too needed some tinkering but we've seen a few thousand mile together as well. I recently acquired a semi new Performer 922 which cost me a fair bit, so in the last 4 years or so I'm the better part of 1500 quid of so into 3 bikes which seems like a steal when you say 3 recumbents but its still not peanuts by any standards.
The last and most common reason for converting to the darkside is the necessity or need for comfort. I had a need for comfort while I know others have had to come off of uprights for various medical reasons. I don't think the why matters to the recumbent riders of the world. Recumbent riders are a lot like the motto from the Statue of Liberty " Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore." Instead of freedom we offer a ride without pain or judgement, just a new laid back way or riding.
I'm glad I made the switch to recumbent, I wish more would shed their fear and do the same. Either way I've learned a few things about myself I didn't know and made some awesome friends and acquaintances. Who could ask for anything more?
+1 Very well said