The Recumbent Blog

Prior to creating EcoVelo I owned a site called The Recumbent Blog. We had a good 3-year run and managed to build up a solid readership over that time. At some point along the way, my focus changed from recreational to transportational cycling, which led to my decision to close down The Recumbent Blog and create EcoVelo in 2008:

You may have noticed that an increasing number of my posts fall outside the realm of what would be considered appropriate for a “recumbent blog”. As my focus has moved away from recreational cycling toward transportational and utility cycling, my interests have also grown to include bikes other than recumbents. This is a good thing, but I sometimes feel as if I’m doing my readers a disservice by veering off the advertised topic too often. So, at some point in the not too distant future, I’ll be starting a new blog with a broader focus that encompasses any and all topics related to using bicycles for transportation. The new blog will continue to celebrate the beauty and elegance of bicycles, as well as the joys of bike riding, while simultaneously focusing on bicycles as instruments of change; in my view, these are not mutually exclusive concepts.

My last post on The Recumbent Blog was May 4th, 2008, at which time the site went dormant, though I kept it live on the web as a resource for the recumbent community. In early 2009, with the costs associated with maintaining the site’s presence on the web continuing to rise, I made a decision to take it off of the web indefinitely. When I turned off the lights, much to my surprise, a number of people contacted me to discuss what they might do to keep the site on the web. Among them was an enthusiastic recumbent rider from Canada named Rob Mackenzie.

I very quickly figured out Rob was the right person to pick up where I left off; his warmth, positive attitude, and enthusiasm for the subject was obvious and came through loud-and-clear in our conversations. After some mutual brainstorming, we came up with a plan to transfer the site to Rob’s care, and on April 5th, 2009, he took the reigns and published his first post. Since then, Rob has published 250 posts and established himself as an entertaining and prolific blogger with a real knack for searching out obscure and interesting tidbits on the subject of recumbent bicycles.

I was pleased to see Rob passed a major milestone today by publishing post #1,000 — congratulations, Rob! If you’re not already a regular reader, take a minute to drop by The Recumbent Blog to check out one of the best resources on the web for all things related to recumbent bicycles.

The Recumbent Blog

12 Responses to “The Recumbent Blog”

  • Rob Mackenzie says:

    Thanks for this… and for everything on the transition. It certainly has made all the difference that we could start out on such a firm foundation thanks to you and Michael.

    Rob and Penny

  • Alan says:

    Hi Rob,

    It’s our pleasure. We really can’t overstate how pleased we are that you and Penny have the blog – you guys are great!

    Best regards,
    Alan & Michael

  • Randy says:

    The increasing interest in utility occurred with me as I used my bike more and auto less (I used my auto last week to take my broken bike to the shop–before that, the last use was March).

    I’ve had to make a few of my own transportation bike solutions, but I’m hoping that your blog might help me find better developed solutions in the future. The first item is a wiring harness and lights package for turn indicators as I think drivers would appreciate and would likely increase my safety. A wiring harness to run all llights, horn, aux, etc. could eliminate a lot of independent batteries for each item. Other items include a face shield for protection from sub-freezing-temperature winter air and bugs the rest of the year (that’s why I use a motorcycle helmet (that and the better hearing, protection, dry head in the rain)), or a helmet with head and tail lights built in (it IS the highest and most visible place on most bikes).

    I’m sure many of us will enjoy the site–just as we have the old one.

  • Erik Sandblom says:

    I still haven’t got myself a recumbent… I will one day though!

    It’s interesting to hear how you shifted your focus from recreational cycling to utility cycling. I’ve actually gone a little in the other direction! I used to see bicycles as cheap and fast transportation for trips up to 2-3 km or so. Changing circumstances, as well as following blogs like yours and cleverchimp/clevercycles, made me realize how much more bicycles can do for me. They can go a lot farther than 2-3 km, they can be comfortable and they can carry large loads with little effort. With a little attention to clothing, you can cycle in any weather and still look sharp. You just need to borrow a page from performace cycling and maybe think about your cadence, not be afraid to spend some more money on the bike, things like that.

    I live in Sweden and I think us Europeans might not have such an advanced bicycle culture as is often assumed on the bike blogs. Sure we ride in ordinary cothes, but that’s all. Your average guy/gal still sees cycling as short hops in fair weather, and anything else is a sacrifice.

    Happily this seems to be changing. Cycling is becoming fashionable. Henry at Henry Workcycles in Amsterdam writes on his blog that box bikes/bakfietsen are for hippies and that’s only starting to change now. They are becoming more popular in Copenhagen too, and then there’s the xtracycle type — I wonder where that will go in Europe.

    We can all learn from each other :-)

  • bongobike says:

    Erik,

    You are lucky to live in Sweden. I’m sure it’s nice and cool there in the summer. Here in Texas the idea of riding in regular clothes during the summer, even at night, is simply crazy. You just take a few turns of the crank the sweat starts pouring!

  • Erik Sandblom says:

    bongobike, point taken. From how people complain about sweating though, you’d think they confused Sweden with Sahara. And then they only ride during the warm part of the year too! Malmö and Linköping being the exceptions; bicycling has a 30% mode share and 70-80% of summer cyclists continue to cycle through the winter.

  • Julian Smith says:

    I would like to thank Alan for all of the work the put into the Recumbent Blog, and subsequently into Ecovelo.
    I would also like to thank Rob & Penny for continuing the Recumbent Blog.
    And yet again, thanks to all of you for cross-linking your sites when you think it might be helpful.
    I can only imagine how much work is involved, and am constantly amazed that each of you produces at least one blog item every day.

    Many, many thanks to all of you.

    Julian

  • bongobike says:

    I just want to echo what Julian said. Ecovelo and the Recumbent Blog rock!

  • Neil says:

    @bongobike – but do you have the same problem walking (or does everyone go around in airconditioned cars?). It is theoretically possible to ride a bike at the same energy level as walking and because a bike is more efficient you will be going faster. Of course the temptation is always to put a bit more effort in because you can.

  • bongobike says:

    Neil,

    You’re right about being tempted to put in a little more effort and enjoy some speed. It feels good and you don’t notice how hot your body is getting because the 15 – 20 mph breeze is keeping you relatively cool. It is only when you stop and the sweat starts streaming down your entire body that you know you’ve been over doing it :-) But when your commute is a good distance, say 12.5 miles, with early-morning temps around 80°F and relatively high humidity like we have here in Austin, you are going to get there super sweaty no matter how slow you go–believe me, I know from experience.

  • Marcin says:

    You are lucky to live in Sweden. I’m sure it’s nice and cool there in the summer. Here in Texas the idea of riding in regular clothes during the summer, even at night, is simply crazy. You just take a few turns of the crank the sweat starts pouring!

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