I agree on the previous points. Based on some club rides I've done with mostly touring type folk, I can hold my own on the hills although I'm generally running a higher cadence, and I'm faster going into a stiff headwind. And I'm still a newbie to bents only getting mine in June.
Based on some actual wind tunnel tests the typical recumbent (I believe a LWB bike was tested) is about the same drag as a roadie in an areo position or down on the drops. I've also read that it can take up to a couple thousand miles of riding to fully develop "'bent legs". At this stage of the game I'm as fast on my 'bent as I was on the road bike (Trek 1000) at this level of conditioning, over the same distances, and faster going into a stiff headwind.
Now the question is how would you prefer to ride all day, on the drops or aero bars on a road bike, or on a nice comfy 'bent?
Grated cheese. He, He. That reminds me of the sense of humor and old bike dealer friend of mine had. When I got my first road bike it was fitted with a Brooks leather saddle. It had 3 holes up the center. I was at the dealers one day when a cycling buddy of mine inquired as to the purpose of the holes. The dealer replied "the holes are where the spikes are installed when you get serious about riding and don't want to slide off of the seat..." The dealer then added "I also have threaded seatposts in the back room for when you are really really serious and want to remove the seat and start real racing, you just screw yourself on....." About that time I was hopelessly rolling around on the floor.
Sort of like safety matches (The kind you close the cover on before striking) still burn fingers.
Oh, yes, the safety razor (The kind you screw down the double sided blade inside) can still gouge out a chunck of cheek flesh.
Safety pins (that fold over onto themselves and clip-closed) still pucture the soles of feet while walking to the bathroom in the dark.
Safety bike, indeed.
PS. By the way were you at the Western Michigan Recumbent Rally in Hastings?
I won a 62 mile race this summer on my carbon velokraft. This was a race that was mixed with uprights. My average speed for the race was 24.4 mph on the course. The course was mixed from flat to rolling hills and also a couple 1 mile grades that would get you crawling at 11 mph. Early in the race, I dropped the pack and obtained a good 1/4 mile lead for a good 20 minutes time. I could tell that they were starting to reel me back in, so I slowed back up and grabbed back onto the rear of the large pack. I didn't feel I would be able to keep up the high intensity for another couple hours. I hung with the pack for about half an hour then took off again....... this time with a lead where I couldn't even see them behind me at all. I kept this up for 15 minutes. They caught back up to me on a long uphill grade. I grabbed back onto the pack and decided to bide my time. I waited till the 56 mile point until my last attack. I knew I could hold them off for the last 6 miles. There was a good downhill leading to a fairly good stretch of downgrade which in turn led into another good downhill. I managed to keep my speed through this 2 mile stretch at over 38mph. Later I found out that the pack was only able to to 30 on that stretch. The last mile before the finish was one more long upgrade section. I kept looking in the rearview and couldn't see them coming yet. I figured that they might catch back up to me on this long slow grade, but somehow they didn't. I managed to come into the finish solo 11 seconds ahead of 2 racers which had pulled off the pack in an attempt to catch me. They made up quite a bit of time on the uprade section..............but not enough. The rest of the pack came in another minute later in 2's and 3's at a time.
While riding my Surly DF on a 62 mile charity ride last weekend I pulled up next to a guy on a Vision. It looked like an R40. We were on a section with loose gravel and were both riding slowly.
I asked about the bike. He explained how much he enjoyed it and showed me how he had modified his USS handlebars. After about 1/2 mile he was obviously feeling a need for speed and at a natural pause in the conversation he excused himself and took off like his diahreah had unexpectedly returned.
I watched as he disappeared over the next hill. It was at that moment that I decided it was time to make the switch. My Surly, which I dearly love and will still probably use for shorter rides, started to feel out of date and rather ordinary. My shoulders, neck and wrists ached at the end of the ride which only reinforced my decision.
I can already feel the Bent Grin starting to show.
He, He! Need for speed. I like it! On our club rides (2 or 3 star level) I love to let the ride leader get up a good head of steam and some distance on me, then I turn it loose and nail them. Comments from the rest of the pack usually are "damn, you fly on that thing!" What fun! Oh, then after the ride I apologize for being on a "slow recumbent" rather than on a DF bike.