"A man's gotta do what a man's gotta do".
After years of making fun of bent riders, I have decided to join the Forces of Darkness and buy a 'bent.
I have not been able to ride much this year because of persistent neck/shoulder pain. I've done the usual stuff (meds, manipulation, votive candles, evil spells, etc) to little avail. When it comes to back pain I'm in the anti-surgery faction until loss of function or persistent numbness becomes an issue.
A friend lent me a Bacchetta Strada and I've put on about 70 miles on it. There is a bit of a learning curve dealing with low speed twitchiness and getting the fool thing rolling in the first place. Going up hills is no big deal (I've always been horrible at hills anyway) until your speed drops into the twitchy zone, then it gets a bit like mountain biking with all the stalls and stuff.
I rode a 23 mile loop yesterday that involves some climbing, about 40-45 ft/mile sort of thing.
Heading home my legs were tired and my knees just a bit sore from grinding up hills, but the rest of me was ready for another 25 miles: no stiff neck or shoulders, no wrist or hand discomfort, no sore butt, none of it.
I talked about it with my wife. She wants a sewing table that costs about as much as a new bent (the owner doesn't want to sell it, darn it). The bikes are on sale this month. A LBS has a LBG who is an expert on bents and will sell and fit them.
We may have to fish through dumpsters for left-over dog food if we buy these things. I figure it will be good practice for my retirement years.
As I said, sometimes a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do.
BTW, here's the bike: