The Hippo


Oct 18, 2019








Courtesy of TerraTrike.

Want to try before you buy?

If you’re curious about this biking option and want to try one out, Maverick’s hosts a weekly group ride every Sunday night at 6:30 from Nashua to Pepperell, Massachusetts, along the Nashua River Rail Trail, which is a 10-mile round trip. Folks can come and use a floor inventory bike for free, if available, and ride with the group to an ice cream shop and ride back. The whole trip takes about two hours.
Find a recumbent bike
Here are some local bike shops that carry new or may carry used recumbent bikes, or can order one for you. 
Colonial Bicycle Co. ( 419 South Broadway, Salem, 894-0611; 775 Lafayette Road, Suite 5, Portsmouth, 319-1688, 
Cycles Etc. (288 N. Broadway, Salem, 890-3212; 450 Second St., Manchester, 669-7993, (can order) 
Goodale’s Bike Shop (14B Broad St., Nashua, 882-2111; 1197 Hooksett Road, Hooksett, 644-2111; 19 Triangle Park Drive, Concord, 225-5111,
Maverick’s Square Adaptive Cyclery (141 Route 101A, Amherst, 554-8260,
Ocean Cycles (76 Lafayette Road, Hampton Falls, 926-5757, 

Lean back and go
The benefits of recumbent biking

By Ryan Lessard

 Recumbent bikes are the strange mutants of the cycling world, beloved by many, reviled by others. But fans say the lean-back-with-the-legs-in-the-front approach is a more efficient use of energy and strength and offers a riding option for people with physical or cognitive disabilities.

Maverick’s Square Adaptive Cyclery is one of the few places in New Hampshire that specializes in recumbent bikes and carries an inventory in its store, according to co-owner Nathan Moreau. The shop also performs modifications for special needs, like putting all the brakes and shifters on one side for stroke victims.
“We don’t do anything normal, I guess, on the bike side,” Moreau said.
The company started six years ago and Moreau said recumbents are its “bread and butter.” It partners with rehab centers like Crotched Mountain in Greenfield and Northeast Passage in Durham. 
“It gives freedom back,” Moreau said.
Folks with inner-ear problems or brain injuries may have trouble balancing, so the three-wheel option is best for them.
Recumbent bikes come in a number of variations. There are tricycles, bicycles and some that are slightly more upright with high handlebars but still with a backrest for a more relaxed seat.
“You’ve got handlebars on both sides — you sit between them and they’re physically connected to the pivot point on the wheel,” Moreau said.
For some, it can be as easy as riding a traditional bike, but for others, it can be difficult to get the hang of it.
“Either you get it really quickly or you hate your life,” Moreau said.
Still, he encourages people to try out all the variations of recumbents available. Someone who doesn’t do well with a two-wheeler may do well with a three-wheeler. That’s because recumbent bicycles require more balance and leaning like a traditional bike, whereas trikes do not.
“It’s a different type of balance. It’s like being in your recliner and trying to ride a bike,” Moreau said.
Two-wheelers can also be difficult to get started. Moreau said a rider needs to sort of “Flintstone” run to pick up momentum and then pick their feet up.
Moreau finds the three-wheeler to be his favorite form of conveyance these days. He can go for 20 miles on a recumbent trike with the same energy that would take him half the distance on a traditional bike. 
Plus, with the stability afforded by three wheels, he can spend less energy trying to stay upright.
“My body doesn’t wear out as quickly because … I’m not using the same type of muscle groups. I’m using a more diverse muscle group,” Moreau said. “You’re not using your legs to fight balance.”
He said it also works out the core more than a traditional bike. Because of the way your body needs to shift side to side, he said, your lower abdomen gets a good workout.
“They’re a blast to ride, they’re super-comfortable and it’s a lot of fun,” Moreau said.
Co-owner Dan Horn says he thinks most local triathlons and duathlons will accept recumbent bikes but racers should always check with a race organizer first to be sure. Some more official racing circuits might be less inclined to allow recumbents, he said.
One bike race called the Three Notch Century in North Conway includes a lot of recumbents, according to Horn. The event, which takes place this year on Saturday, Sept. 9, helps raise support for Northeast Passage.
Many websites sell recumbents online and some local shops can special-order them for you. 
Moreau said the only downsides to recumbent bikes are that they’re low, so you need to add flags and lights to your ride so motorists are more likely to notice you, and they’re often too bulky to easily store or transport. He said some companies do make specialty variants that can fold into smaller sizes, making them easier to travel with or pack away for the winter. 

®2019 Hippo Press. site by wedu