Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Michigan Recumbent Rally - West, Sept. 6, 2014

Words and photos by Mike Eliasohn

The annual Michigan Recumbent Rally - West, organized by Paul Pancella, took place Saturday, Sept. 6, in the parking lot outside the College of Engineering building on the Western Michigan University Parkview Campus in Kalamazoo.
There was a good turnout of recumbent two- and three-wheelers, some of them for sale, and some non-recumbent cyclists who took advantage of the opportunity to try some laid-back cycles.

David Middleton of Kalamazoo has been at the past few rallies with a mountain bike converted into a front-wheel-drive recumbent with use of a Cruzbike conversion kit.  He's now taken the financial plunge and bought a Cruzbike Quest, which folds. Wheels are 26 in/559mm and gearing is a SRAM Dual Drive, which combines a 3-speed hub with nine deraileur sprockets.  Learning to ride a FWD with moving bottom bracket takes patience.

Gabe Lagina (tan shirt, gray cap) from Breakaway Bicycles and Fitness in Portage came with two TerraTrike three-wheelers and two Bacchetta two-wheelers. In addition to those brands, it also sells Sun recumbents – and lots of upright bikes. There's also Breakaway stores in Grand Haven and Muskegon. The orange TerraTrike Rambler by the van's rear wheel now belongs to the editor of this blog.

Richard Tool came from Dayton, Ohio, with his ICE Sprint FS. All three wheels are suspended, it folds, has 30 speeds (3x10 gearing) and weighs 43 pounds. He bought it in February 2014 due to equilibrium problems and is his first recumbent. He said it's only slow going up hills. The next day he rode it in the nearby Vineyard Classic Bicycle Tour, which starts and ends in Paw Paw.

Andy Knight of Cooper Township (Parchment area) brought his Day 6 Journey, which has a Shimano Nexus 7-speed hub gear.  Last year, he rode it 41 miles to South Haven. Day 6, which apparently is having business problems, is based in New Hudson in southeastern Michigan.

This bike was not at the recumbent rally, but I (Mike E.) thinks it's cool, hence the photo here. Builder/owner Joel Wiggins of Kalkaska brought it to the fourth annual Cycle-Re-Cycle bicycle show and ride Aug. 23 in Benton Harbor. (C-R-C is a all-volunteer non-profit bicycle shop.) Joel built the bike using an old Huffy tandem frame. It's what's called a burrito bike, described as long and low. Add a backrest and more than one gear and it becomes a recumbent.

No comments: