Easy Riders

Recumbent cyclists take their exercise lying down

Andrew Frumovitz
The Daily Breeze
July 28, 1991

Jerry [Gerry] Pease fastens his slick racing helmet with a black chin strap. He zips open the yellow nylon covering and climbs down into what looks like a warhead with wheels.

He wears white shoes and an excited smile, as if he were about to do what he was born to do.

He leans back, pulls down his visor, grabs his handlebars and in a matter of minutes he’s overtaken the most skilled cyclist.

The Manhattan Beach engineer is pedaling a bicycle, but not the kind you can rent at the beach in Venice, or anywhere else. He’s riding the futuristic-looking Lightning, a type of recumbent bicycle. It’s a real bike; it just doesn’t look like one.

His eyes begin to tear, all sound giving way to wind. His head begins to clear as he whips along at speeds of up to 35 mph.

Riding recumbents is not merely a sport, but a way of life. They are markedly faster, vastly more comfortable, and obscenely more expensive than traditional bikes. There are currently only about 3,000 recumbent bicycles wordwide.

Recumbents can have two to three wheels, one or two seats. But all have in common the reclining seat that allows for easier, more aerodynamic cycling.

Photo caption: Tim Brummer is the man behind Lightning Cycle Dynamics in Lompoc.