Fri, 19 Jun 2009

Ride starting Fri Jun 19 11:50:53 2009

53.97 km 177070.10 feet 33.54 mi 9850.00 seconds 164.17 minutes 2.74 hours 12.26 mi/hr

Flew down to DC Friday to run an OpenStreetMap mapping party in DC Saturday. I scheduled my flights so I'd get here very early. Early enough, in fact, to go for a nice 34 mile ride on the Washington & Old Dominion trail. It's quite nice. The paving is in good condition, it's well signed, the road intersections are mostly protected, and it's long, long, long! A real treat.

But, I didn't bring my own bike. I rented from Bikes @ Vienna. They specialize in non-standard bicycles. They have recumbents (long and short wheelbase), tricycle recuments (tadpole and whatever it is you call the other design that has a long wheelbase, two wheels in the back, and one in front. They have tandems. AND they have crank-forward bicycles. The only thing they don't have are Rail-Riders

If you've never tried a crank-forward, you owe it to yourself to rent one from them. It's a more-or-less standard bicycle, except that the seat tube is quite slanted, and the cranks are about 18" forward of the usual location. Yes, it's a longer bike, thus a heavier bike. BUT with the flat seat, and the seat being much lower (because the seat tube is slanted, you can get the right distance to the pedals AND still be able to put your feet down with your butt in the seat), and the upright position, it's quite a comfortable ride.

If you have friends who don't like standard bicycles ("I can't put my feet down"; "I don't know how to ride a bicycle"; "I don't like that hard horn between my legs"), you should recommend a crank-forward bicycle to them.

They're not wimpy bicycles. I averaged 13.4MPH (moving average) on a foreign (not my own, not cleated) bicycle, and at one point was successfully drafting a pair of people on your standard road racing bicycle wearing your standard bicycle clothing, and riding, oh, probably 18-20MPH. Remember, I'm sitting upright!

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