David Witte: Why I Ride a Recumbent

Dave on his Strada

When I was a kid, my bike was the main mode of transportation; we went everywhere on our bikes.  Fast forward forty years and some of my co-workers ride every Saturday.  Now, I thought at one time I could have been a competitive bike rider, I just never took that road.

So, I thought I would take them up on the invitation to ride with them and they even had a bike I could ride. Now, I’m not in bad shape- I walk, work out and rode a bike a lot all those years ago.  What could go wrong?

My first ride with the group was 25 miles.  My butt and wrists were some kind of sore. Padded bike shorts, gloves and a gel pad seat cover later and I still have a sore butt, wrist, neck and back.  I was getting worse.

I talked with one of the high mileage riders the local bike store, and we discussed trikes, other recumbents and of course, DF’s.  I decided to go recumbent against the advice of most of the riders, and found a deal on an old Burly.  Lots less pain 1000 miles later I think that this recumbent  bike stuff is going to stick around, only now I want a faster bike! Having tried a Bacchetta Corsa that was fast, and talking with its owner who had upgraded to a C/A 2.0, I decided to look for a Bacchetta that would fit my budget and found a new Strada in Florida.  It fits great and I even like the color. I could not be happier.

David Witte

BIKE IN THE BOX

Get a lot of people asking about this, so here you go.  What I’ve done is packed up a C/A 2.0 in a Crateworks Tandem box.  This is being sent to upper New England and then flying over to Denmark.  I’m new to Crateworks and this was my virgin voyage, but it worked out great for this bike and Crateworks has definitely done their homework on this great product.  (Keep in mind that I’m anal, and wrapped then zip tied the crap out of it.  Less movement when shipping equals less damage.)

I’ve also done my best keeping the bike as complete as possible.  This bike was built up complete and tested initially before going in the box so with maybe some minor adjustments it should be ready to ride. 

Frame in the box. Wrapped, strapped down and secure.

At the stage above, all that is removed are the wheels, rear derailleur hanger, rear derailleur and the top stem of the two-piece riser system, of which I also folded the bars down on.  I’ve also reclined the seat quite a bit.  Fork, bottom riser assembley, seat, brakes, crank- all still attached, set up and ready to go. 

Frame with rear wheel

Normally, there is a specific piece of the system which goes over the bike and then you put the wheels on top of it.  If I would have had the bike flipped around, I probably could have done this.  But she was strapped down and I didn’t have the energy to undo it.  So, I put the rear wheel in with the bike and it worked out great!

Frame cover on and front wheel strapped on

Here it is with the front wheel strapped on.  The hole on the right is usually for the rear wheel.  Notice the straps provided to keep everything in place.

Top on, strapped up and ready to ship!

Here is the final package.  It’s sizeable, but easy to carry and not nearly that heavy.  Crateworks gives you a ton of strapping options on the inside, so everything is super secure and the outside straps are one piece and not four seperate bands.

I’m sure this could be greatly improved upon with practice.  However, this bike only needs the rear derailleur hanger screwed back on, then the rear derailleur itself, seat back inclined to a comfortable level (the bottom should be very close to the owner’s x-seam), top riser inserted, clamped and adjusted, then add the wheels.  A good multi-tool should get it done lickety split. 

The hardest part will be removing all the zip ties…