2002 Jim Schmid buys his first recumbent – a Bike E

We were living in Maryland just north of Washington, DC. There is miles and miles of paved trails in the Metro area. I started biking them and saw folks on recumbents enjoying themselves. Sandra and I had test rode recumbents way back in 1985 at the GEAR in the Bluegrass LAW rally (Lexington, KY). This is the first time we’ve lived in a place with miles of nearby flat paved trails perfect for recumbents. I did some research and discovered that Mt. Airy Bicycles shop just an hour away has the largest selection of recumbents in the area. So drove over there and spent the day test riding every recumbent from long to short wheelbase they had. Settled on the Bike E AT as the easiest to fit and get used to. It had a rear suspension air shock which claimed to make bumps smoother. And the price was right ($1,200). They were the largest and best selling recumbent company in the country. How could I go wrong (turns out the company went out of business two months later). I rode the Bike E until 2007 when I bought a Bacchetta Giro 26 recumbent from Power On Cycling in Florida (they are now located in Tewport, TN, which is great for me because we live in Black Mtn, NC just an hour away). The Bike E has 20″ wheel on rear and 16″ on front which made the recumbent closer to the ground and a bit harder to pedal. I always felt like I was riding a circus bike. Whereas the Giro has 26″ wheels front and rear that make the recumbent feel more like a bicycle. Another advantage is that the Giro is the same length of a regular bike making for ease of transporting.