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Hi guys, I wanted to do a short series of posts that may help others considering recumbent racing. I wanted to give information on why you would ride these machines, what to expect when starting out, my experience of riding and racing and hopefully, health and Covid 19 permitting, highlight my journey to the World Championships in 2021.
I am not the fountain of knowledge and many will know more than me! But it may be of use to someone out there. Let me introduce myself..
Has been, never was been…
Cycling was not my first passion. I came from a sailing family and learnt to sail before I could swim. My parents would take my triplet brother and me around the country and the odd foray abroad. As a member of the British Team, we competed alongside many of the generation who became Olympians and legends in the sport. Sadly, University, beer and a lack of talent laid waste to my chances of joining them
Cycling started as a way of training for sailing and carried on when sailing fizzled out. While South Wales did not lend itself to competitive sailing, it is blessed with plenty of hills to cycle over! Being a competitive beast, what started off as a series of pleasurable rides soon turned into mammoth efforts to catch the rider ahead of me up the local hill. And that was before I found Strava!
Invariably, I turned to racing to ease my competitive itch. This started off as triathlons where I became very adept at choosing the least competitive ones to achieve success.
Sadly at this point I was diagnosed with MMN, a very rare autoimmune disease that resulted in my own body destroying my muscles….ironic after all those years of trying to build them up! My rapidly shrinking left arm made swimming impossible, at least in straight lines. I managed a couple of seasons doing time trials and had some success although by this point I was getting decidely unstable.
After narrowly avoiding a tractor due to an inablility to steer I decided that it was time to look at something else. Enter the recumbent trike!
After researching, in my obsessive fashion, I came across the ICE VTX. Well, I saw the World Champion rode it, so decided that was the ticket! I ordered one through Home | cardiffpedalpower, a superb organization who help those less able to get out and revive our sporting ambitions.
My first experience on the trike involved riding it back from Pedal Power. Initial thoughts were wondering if I would capsize around every corner or get run over by every car. Thankfully none of these predictions came true.
Cars viewed my presence as
a) bless him, he must be disabled
or b) bless him, he must be nuts!
The result was the same; room on the road I had never experienced and a feeling of good will from my petrol driven friends I had only known after being knocked off while racing on two wheels.
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