Cat Sitting…

2007 Catrike Expedition

This bicycle belongs to a good friend who purchased it back in 2007 because his health would not allow him to ride a conventional bicycle and for the longest time he had it fitted with a Bionx power assist.

His health improved so much that he now rides a conventional bicycle although the Catrike is his primary mode of transportation; he commutes, he tours, and if you note, the Bionx is no longer fitted.

Being aware of my back and neurological issues my friend said that as he was going to be away that I could cat sit for him and the bike arrived yesterday morning, I had it for 10 days last year and rode it a great deal finding that it was the most enjoyable and pain free cycling I have done since I fragged the back.

This is one of the things the average person does not understand unless they experienced a similar injury; the radiculopathy I suffered creates axial loading issues that manifest in pain when I walk, stand, and sit upright and some of the muscles in my left hip make me unstable when I am on my feet. Cycling uses different muscle groups so rests those muscles that have to work too hard to keep me standing (when they work), there is no risk of falling, and it relieves the compression in my back.

My oldest daughter described it perfectly after riding it, “this is the perfect bicycle for lazy cyclists (like me) as you don’t have to work that hard to go really fast”. In her defense she is also one of the most naturally gifted and graceful cyclists I have ever seen and she does not have to work hard to go really fast because she does not waste a drop of energy.

Those who have never ridden a recumbent need to try it, the Catrike is like sitting in a zero gravity chair which unloads my back and even at my level of fitness I find that I can idle this bike down the road in the low 30’s and this is not even the racing model.

You don’t have to have a disability to ride a trike… before the accident I rode this bike and could launch it up to speeds that are nearly impossible for most on a conventional bicycle as it’s aerodynamic benefits really come into play when you pass the 40 kmh mark and just keep going.

I decided that it is time for me to start looking for a trike and if my friend decided to upgrade to a newer model I would be more than happy to adopt this cat. As it’s mechanic I know it is in top shape and it has been well maintained and guess I will have to start working on the pre-requisite beard and aero belly that bent riders are supposed to have. 🙂

We have been discussing some designs we would like to apply to a custom recumbent trike and would probably use the Catrike as a platform as they are a well thought out design and the direct steering they are known for is wonderful as the bike handles like it is on rails.

With a background in rehabilitation, fabrication, and those jedi like mechanical skills I think that I should be focussing on developing adaptive bicycles for other people as besides that, I understand how a bicycle can be an invaluable personal mobility device and allow you to maintain better health when other physical activities are not possible.

To fund this new purchase I decided that I will be thinning the herd as there are bicycles here I do not ride often enough and some are duplicates in that they do the same things as other bicycles.

Will be working on listing those over the next week and will be going to visit the recumbent dealer in Bentley to look at trikes and talk about adaptive bicycles and custom parts that I can supply.

Time to refill the coffee and then ponder the merits of fat tyres and drop bars…