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Recumbent cycling

  • March 1st, 2008

Up early this morning carbo-loading with my brother-in -law. We head for the Karapoti Classic shortly. The forecast rain has yet to arrive, so should I screw off the steel mud studs I put on my cycle shoes last night?

Preparation for the Karapoti is some way from last Wednesday’s cycle experience. I joined the alleged thousand at the Wellington City bike-to-work day breakfast in Civic Square. The highlight for me was not the bagel (each time I have one I remember why I rarely do). It was the chance to ride the recumbent three-wheeler of a guy who comes from Petone each day.

He built it from a kitset imported from Holland, at a total cost of around $4500. It was very comfortable, though I’m not sure about the dignity. It looks very like a grown-up pedal car. He says he can average 35kph into the wind, and over 40kph without. The best feature was the storage space, enough for satchels, computers and other gear that mean I usually walk or bus to work rather than biking.

I was puzzled by Bryan Pepperell photographing me in it, until I found the green ribbons trailiing from the mirror on the off side, and a Reuters journalist hissed “what are you doing at a Green rally. Cycling’s reserved for us”.

PS Sunday morning -The Karapoti rain held off till nearly through. Just to be at the race is a celebration of life (and for my age category of fitness fending off feebleness for another year). My best time yet (3 hrs, 48 minutes 24 seconds) made me 488th rider home (just in the first half) but let 28 people ahead of me in the age 50-59 category.

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