Okay. It has been in the back of my mind to get a bent. Recently, I was on a long fully loaded bike tour of the Pacific Northwest and ran into a few (probably less than a dozen) people touring on bents. I took considerable time to talk to some of them and concluded that the whole bent experience should become a higher priority for me.
One bent guy kept leap-frogging me for a few days mainly because he was traveling with others who were relatively slow. He was very fast on the downhill (I could never see him coming until he rocketed past) and seemed to climb uphill adequately. During my talk with him he opined that in the choppy up and down terrain along the coast he might be faster on an upright. Still, he was doing well from my perspective. I forget what he was riding.
There was also guy at the hiker-bike camp at Port Townsend, WA who had a Ti Easy Racer equipped with fairing, body sock and low-slung panniers under the seat. Got a full demonstration. Very nice and I wish I had seen it in action on the road.
I would like a practical bent...One that I could carry things on and tour with. But, it also needs to have some inherent advantage over a diamond frame...Like it's got to be faster .
So right now, being fairly ignorant and with zero experience, I am thinking about Easy Racer's Tour Easy or a Rans Stratus XP.
Are there any online resources for learning more about bents? The Recumbent Forum here (which I have searched extensively) seems relatively dormant. I a posting here since I recognize many of the more informative posters there also post here in 50+ and there have been some good threads here on this topic in the past.
Any thoughts or advice would be appreciated.