Riding Recumbent with a Smile
There is a pleasure involved in riding a recumbent bike or trike that stays with me everytime I think of the experience. Its called the "recumbent smile". The 'smile' is well-known among recumbent riders and new riders all experience it within a few minutes of initiating movement. From the first full revolution of the pedals, one finds the exuberance of speed and a heightened sense of movement. The smile ensues and won't go away.
Riding a recumbent bike or trike is unlike riding a normal bicycle. You won't miss the uncomfortable, hard, punishing seat that regular bikes force on you. You'll sit in a reclined position, fully supported, comfortable as an easy chair in motion. Your legs are no longer pushing down in a knee-destroying movement. You'll be amazed at the ease the pedals turn and the comfort of supine peddling. Steering is also different as your arms are at your side, resting lightly on the underseat steering bars. On a normal bicycle you have to support your entire upper body pressing down on your wrists, with your nick held back in an un-natural position. I know, I've had vertebrae removed as a result of the position, as well as carpal tunnel surgery.
After my neck and wrist surgeries I was unable to ride a bicycle any longer. Niether my neck, knees, nor wrists, could take the strain any further. I was introduced to the recumbent bicycle world, moved on to the trikes - and now ride everyday, every chance I get - and I smile more than I have a right to.
...read the full guide with pics here