I set a goal for myself to ride my bike to work this summer 40 times, and put in over 2000 km of biking total. As of July 8th, I have ridden 15 times so far, for a total of about 690 km of commuting. I have also put in about 120 km of other riding, so that adds up to about 810 km of riding so far in 2010.
I know I’m well short of my goal, but swimming carpools interfere with biking to work. In a couple of weeks, the swim season is over for a month or so, and I will be able to put in a lot more bike commutes. Hopefully the snow will hold off until late October or even early November, so I probably still have three months of riding time available.
So far this summer, I’ve put about 80 percent of my mileage on my recumbent trike, but I also bought a recumbent bike in May, and I’ve done several trips to work, on the paths, and out on the highway with it. The bike is an Advanced Transportation Products Vision R40. ATP went out of business in 2004 or so, and the bike I got was built in around 2002 or 2003. It is still in good shape, and spare parts are still available from Volae, another recumbent manufacturer that bought out the tooling and manufacturing from ATP. I expect a lot of fun riding on the bike.
I’ve experienced one mechanical failure this summer so far, a broken chain. I went riding to the bank on the Vision earlier this week, and when I went to start after waiting at a red light, the first shove on the pedal from a stopped state blew out a link on the chain. I had some SRAM Power Links in my tool bag, so the repair was quick and off I went again. I broke the chain on my trike last summer, so I was prepared for it this time. I think the problem is that because your back is pressed against the seat, you can put a lot more force on the pedals of a recumbent than you can on an upright bike.
I had a couple of crashes this summer getting used to the Vision R40. It has under-seat steering and is a bit wobbly at first. I have tipped over a couple of times when stopping. One crash was more serious, where I fell over at speed when the front wheel got caught in a crack, and I got some road rash on my shin and ankle.
Regardless of the troubles, I am enjoying the trike / bike commuting tremendously, and I’m going to keep it up. I still think I can hit that 4000 km mark this year.