That's the great thing about bikes...you can afford more then one!
Originally Posted by crackerdog
If I only had one bike, it wouldn't be a recumbent. They don't climb well for the average person, they don't jump curbs, they don't fit on bus racks, etc. They are more of a specialized bike, like a good road or mtn bike. Most people have crappy uprights that barely work, I can't imagine using a bent that is in that bad a condition. When you compare the number of bents to other specialized bikes, like downhill or touring or cargo, they aren't that rare.
If I could only have one bike it WOULD be a recumbent! But fortunately I do have more then one. I ride my trusty Tour Easy with a 26" studded mountain bike tire on the back and a Schable 20" studded tire in the front during winter and then switch to the 27" rear wheel in the summer. The brakes don't line up with the 26" wheel so I drag my feet when the front brake doesn't do the trick.
If for some reason I was forced to use just one bike I think I would consider my Milt Turner built short wheel base as it would fit on a bus bike carrier and it is also much easier to carry inside or transport. For the occasional curb that needs jumping...I stop and lift the bike over!
It gives people a chance to see what bents can do and (more importantly) test ride a wide variety of models. The big trick is to attract people who are not already obsessed with bents.
In the US, these kinds of exhibits could be combined with say State or County fairs. When I was a kid in the Buffalo, NY area, the fairs typically had horse races and such. Adding human powered vehicle races to the events would put a modern, green spin on an old tradition. Very politically correct.
The fair would draw a diverse crowd that is coincidentally interested in (a) thrill rides and (b) games and tests of skill. Test-rides on bents should satisfy both of those urges. If we can get groups of high school and college kids racing each other around a test track, we might get a few new bent addicts. There should be a lot of laughs as they tease each other through the wobbly phase. If it catches on like bumper cars, it could be good fun and good business.
My guess is that a hard sales pitch would scare folks away. The idea of a joy ride at a fair would be more effective at getting people over that initial threshold of actually trying a bent. A stack of brochures by the gate would allow those who are interested to take the next step. This kind of exposure once a year in each geographic market should stimulate initial sales. Adding just a few more local riders would mean more year-round exposure to bents in those communities. That and some word-of-mouth could help stimulate an upward spiral in sales.