Riding in mixed company

Sparky731

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
Mixed meaning 2 wheelers and recumbents.

My wife and I ride with and lead several bike groups. Without trying to sound too supercilious, we find it less safe and more challenging to ride with recumbents because we cannot always see them as we track the group. And we fear that if we cannot see them vehicle traffic may not see them either, even if they sprout a flag. Especially in a string of bikes, car drivers may visually “miss” the recumbent and interpret it as a gap in the pack through which to drive.

Are we being too snobbish? We have good friends on recumbents, but tend to avoid including them in our rides. Does anyone else have reservations when riding with recumbents, or are we just being persnickety?
 
I believe you answered your own question.
It sounds like you have a guilt complex.
Yes, guilty of guilt. Not asking friends who ride lowriders to ride with us, from a discomfort/fear perspective. And we don’t want to infer inferior transports.
 
Do the recumbents slow down the desired speed for your group? I'd figure those guys would have the blinken litghts and flags up the wazoo. Feel your angst, but unless they can't maintain pace, kind of mean to exclude friends. Still I tell you, I wouldn't want to ride a highway eith my head abut as high as a 26" wheel,.



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I used to be on group rides with recumbent bike riders.

Where I live, recumbent bikes often carry a flag on a pole to be visible to the drivers.
Recumbent bikes are fast and do not slow the group ride down.

I can remember my race on long Warsaw bike paths with a random recumbent cyclist who was using a fairing on his bike. I was riding my 45 km/h Vado in the full Turbo mode but the guy was always faster. After many kilometres of the chase, he was slowed down by the traffic lights. I yelled asking him for stopping and a chat. I thanked him for a good workout and expressed awe for his cycling. He grinned and growled: "I will never let an e-bike overtake me!" :D
 
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I have not participated in group rides on ebikes. Some years ago on my Harley Davidson fatboy i go on group rides on veterans day or toy runs or just for a Sunday cruise.
Usually about a couple dozen bikes Some guys have their girlfriend and or wife on the rear saddle.
What's different on motorcycle group rides is there are rules about passing and ride Captains enforce it. Simply speaking it's a parade. At the rear is a chase vehicle Usually a diesel powered Ford truck.
 
Does anyone else have reservations when riding with recumbents
We won't ride with people that don’t wear helmets; perhaps request anyone on a recumbent use a flag.

Not a Trump fan, but an example.
 

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My only problem with group rides with recumbents is where you're riding. Case in point: I frequently ride the very busy towpath between Cleveland and Akron Ohio. The wider profile of recumbents, and high volume of people, makes for unsafe conditions (in my opinion only)
 
Group rides can be scary. I've seen about 20-30 road bikes, in a large tight group, bombing downhill. They scared the crap out of the father, mother, and kid biking against traffic and headed face to face with the swarm of bees. No joke, the dozens of road bikes sounded like a swarm of bees. It doesn't appear that would be a safe situation to add recumbant bikes. They can have a larger/wider footprint and try to imagine 15 recumbants in a single file. If you have enough recumbants, maybe do a separate ride. The Rad Recumbant Ride?
 
Mixed meaning 2 wheelers and recumbents.

My wife and I ride with and lead several bike groups. Without trying to sound too supercilious, we find it less safe and more challenging to ride with recumbents because we cannot always see them as we track the group. And we fear that if we cannot see them vehicle traffic may not see them either, even if they sprout a flag. Especially in a string of bikes, car drivers may visually “miss” the recumbent and interpret it as a gap in the pack through which to drive.

Are we being too snobbish? We have good friends on recumbents, but tend to avoid including them in our rides. Does anyone else have reservations when riding with recumbents, or are we just being persnickety?
If you don't "feel" safe in that or any situation, you should probably avoid being in that situation routinely.
If, on the other hand you have little experince riding with that group of recumbants, you might want to move out of your comfort zone and give it a few more a rides. You might find that your "unsafe feelings" abate with more real experience.

Your two stated issues are:
1. "we cannot always see them as we track the group" - As you expose yourself to them, you're preception will most likely adjust over time, especially if they are wearing bright colors and flags.

2. "car drivers may visually “miss” the recumbent and interpret it as a gap in the pack through which to drive" - This sounds like you may be projecting your fear onto others (vehicle drivers), and making assumtions that may not be likely to happen.

Give it a whirl, join the group! What's worst that can happen?
1. Massive pile up?
2. Injury?
3. Paralysis?
4. Death?

What? Do you want to live forever?
 
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I don’t recall every seeing a recumbent without a flag, even on trails.
It looks like that:
1701457207686.png


Here's a short video from a recumbent bike rally in the Czech Republic:
Many flags can be seen there.

Unfortunately, many recumbent riders do not carry a flag, and moreover, many of them wear no helmet (what would you say about the American motorcyclists?)

A close friend of mine, a hardcore recumbent cyclist had a bad crash this year (her knee got damaged). However, he wore a helmet following my example and that saved her head.
 
If they don't wear a helmet, they don't have anything to protect.
My own thought after I could see Tom Cruise in the "Top Gun: Maverick" latest movie. The character wears a helmet in a fighter jet yet rides a motorbike bareheaded :D
 
If you don't "feel" safe in that or any situation, you should probably avoid being in that situation routinely.
If, on the other hand you have little experince riding with that group of recumbants, you might want to move out of your comfort zone and give it a few more a rides. You might find that your "unsafe feelings" abate with more real experience.

Your two stated issues are:
1. "we cannot always see them as we track the group" - As you expose yourself to them, you're preception will most likely adjust over time, especially if they are wearing bright colors and flags.

2. "car drivers may visually “miss” the recumbent and interpret it as a gap in the pack through which to drive" - This sounds like you may be projecting your fear onto others (vehicle drivers), and making assumtions that may not be likely to happen.

Give it a whirl, join the group! What's worst that can happen?
1. Massive pile up?
2. Injury?
3. Paralysis?
4. Death?

What? Do you want to live forever?
All good comments. I have been riding with these recumbents for 3+ years and my wife and I continue to feel more uncomfortable with each ride. Yes, all recumbents have flags and everyone wears helmets. We also stipulate high-vis clothing.

One of our favorite rides is along the Indian Bend Wash from Tempe to Scottsdale. This is often a busy path with minimal yield space when crowded — sometimes less than the width of a recumbent. When we encounter recumbents coming at us they often take more than half the path.

We will continue to lead group rides but likely only include recumbents on less busy trails.
 
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