Quote Taken from the introduction to Road Cycling post category on bike forums:
“It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” Ernest Hemingway.
I know many of us in our our age bracket myself included, still like to go at a fast pace on our rides, often in groups and sometimes competing in race or TT events. If one can categorize what is most important on our rides how does viewing the countryside fit into your rankings when you ride?
To experience and feel the environment seems to be a large reason why some make the investment to get out in the elements to ride. I know that “road cycling” per se often means pacelineing at a high speed with more emphasis on tunneling our views directly on the pavement and riders ahead. So is it the thrill of speed that is more important to most? Any changes for older riders in what constitutes why you ride?
In a recent thread on bentrideronlne, the OP talks about the newness of things on his recent acquisition of a recumbent (my response included).
Originally Posted by GeeWizMan "I've been riding my recumbent for about a month now and I really like it. I am sold on the many aspects of recumbent riding vs. DF riding. For instance, the lack of physical pain in my neck and butt, the positive responses from the motoring public, and the increased stability of having a lower center of gravity. But, the thing that is impressing me the most right now is the view. I never realized what I was missing when riding my DF bikes. Now, I am appreciating the sky, birds, fall colors, and lake views rather than just noticing concrete and asphalt characteristics. It's a beautiful thing!"
In the article Bicycling magazine did on recumbents a few years ago this was also highlighted.
July 2006 issue, excerpts from article by author who particpated in Midwest Recumbent Rally in Wisconisn and given an opportunity to ride a HiRacer recumbent:
"The last day of the rally stretches the limits. The 50-mile Super Tour would be the true test of how a recumbent performed on the kind of ride upright riders would see as a stiff challenge. Garthus was escorting me personally. We pedaled through farmland and rolling hills, and were soon on the kinds of country lanes that, to cyclists, represent blissful, gauzy perfection.
It seemed even more ideal on a recumbent. The reclining position was a revelation, not so much for comfort, but for the views. Sitting back and tilted slightly up, I felt like I was pedaling in widescreen. I looked down at the bike computer and was surprised to see we were riding at a solid 25 mph"..............
Does hearing such reports make this a priority for some to put on a bucket list? I myself really don’t understand why the popularity of bents hasn’t kicked in a little higher, not only among seniors but riders as a whole.