Why & When Did You Go "Bent"?

SirJoey

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I'd like to read some tales here about why each of us rode their first bent, & when!

My first one was a Rans Stratus, a regular 2-wheeled recumbent bike. I was an avid cyclist, & bought it because of back problems.
I reasoned that it would be far more comfortable sitting in a seat with a back, & having one's legs up, like sitting in a recliner.
Seemed like it would be easier on the back & neck, as well as the wrists & hands. Wow, was I ever right! I was in LOVE!

For me, the year was 1985. Back then, bents were EXTREMELY rare, so there was always a major WOW factor! 😲
There always seemed to be a lot of jaw-dropping, head turning, thumbs-upping, & cool compliments every time I rode it! 👍
Additionally, to quote Winona Ryder in Beetlejuice,
"I like things that are strange & unusual. I myself AM strange & unusual ".

The Rans is long gone, but in the following years I would go on to purchase a Rhoades Car, an ActionBent Tadpole, & a Catrike
Tadpole, all brand new, & totaling nearly $8,000! Yep, I've had a decades-old bout of "bent fever" which continues to this day!

Ultimately, I would go on to build for myself a whole stable of various recumbent bikes, trikes, & quads, most of which are now gone.
My current stable consists of 1 bike, 1 tadpole, 2 deltas, & a quad, all recumbents!


"Bent since 1985, but STILL not broken!" 😎
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Wow Joey - you go back a long way with the hobby. I started around 8 years back with a homemade trike. Followed by a mkII trike, then a LWB, and lastly a SWB. Also made my own DF bike, and all are used in rotation. Have been a bike rider way back as far as I can recall, but my happiest memory was when my dad got me a Raleigh Chopper - proudest kid in the neighbourhood.........:)
 
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2013 was the year I crossed over from the dark side and into the light.
My left hip (deceased, and no longer with us) had become excruciatingly painful when mounting/dismounting and just generally riding my "F"-Frame Moulton.
After the hip replacement and while undergoing follow-up physio-rehab the physio remarked that if cycling was my preferred exercise then a recumbent bike was likely to be better for me and my false hip.
This led me directly to AZ and my purchase of plans and the building of a Street Fox and then 3 more home designed & built trikes since then. One of which has seen service overseas.
Current touring machine is a Tadpole with a Bafang mid-drive and a NuVinci N380 rear IGH.
 

SirJoey

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2013 was the year I crossed over from the dark side and into the light.
What a great way to put it! :LOL:

....a recumbent bike was likely to be better for me and my false hip.
A common theme for many of us, no doubt. Aren't we glad we "got bent"? :)
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I forget exactly the year that I didnt see the light, rather I chose to do something with it, life was not great at that time and I fancied doing the London to Brighton bike ride but at 64 not having riden a bike in many years I
did not think me and a saddle would get on very well, so I set out to design and build a recumbent trike, this was before I knew about AZ, many months of looking at pics online and trying to scale them and get an idea of dimensions and ended up with a trike to do this "Epic" ride of 55 miles.
My goal then was to ride up the demon hill Ditchling Beacon at 50 miles into the ride,I was going to beat it or it was going to kill me, back then I didnt mind what the outcome was.
To jump forwards I rode every inch of it and within a few weeks was all set with ferry ticket to Holland and 2 weeks of solo touring with no plans, the best holiday of my life, met so many nice people there,
AZ has been a very interesting source of info for me and made some good friends via it.
I am not sure which I like most
the designing, the building or the riding, all the time I am able will be building trikes to ride or fly

regards
john
 

SirJoey

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Wow, great story, John! I was envisioning it as I read along, thanx!
Very inspiring that you not only undertook this venture at 64, many years out of the saddle,
but also that you did it riding your own creation, & COMPLETED it! SUPERB! (y)


Stories like yours really make me wanna get out & ride again, even if I DO have to walk a
mile to the storage unit just to drag out one of mine! Maybe when warm weather returns... :unsure:
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SirJoey

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I started around 8 years back with a homemade trike.
Yet another bent rider who started out with his own creation!
Man, I envy guys like you, cause you guys did it RIGHT, right from the start!
ANYBODY can get bent simply by throwing money at it (like I did), but for your first bent to be home-built, well...

It took me awhile, but after a couple of decades, I finally realized the value of building my own, not only
from a financial standpoint, but also from the sense of accomplishment & satisfaction that comes with it!

Nowadays I'd much rather say that I built it, than how much money I foolishly wasted on it! 😊

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Radical Brad

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Funny, I had no idea what a recumbent bike was back then, and had never seen another wacky bike. I just wanted to cruise in comfort, and that car seat trike was actually a great ride. I even had a tape deck and car horn in there, running off a motorcycle battery. Freak bike cruisin' the hood with Judas Priest blasting and my mullet streaming in the wind... pure freedom!

I may build another bent with a car seat one day.

You can dig one out of a wrecked car at the scrap yard for $20-$40, which is not bad at all considering the adjustability and comfort. The only issue... don't park out in the rain!

Brad
 
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Some great "How I got started stories" coming in.

I have had a DIY, or don't want to spend the money, mentality all my life. Around 30 years ago I spent a little time mentally designing a two side-by-side bicycle contraption that never saw pencil and paper or the light of day. It was one of those "I'd like to build it one day ideas".

It was 2013 before I actually put steel to steel, started collecting a lot of discarded bikes and got into it. I never saw Atomic Zombie and what it had to offer until I went down a few adventurous paths.

The first was a delta contraption that looked more contraption than anything else and I dubbed it Trikelops. It never got ridden but it taught me a lot. I decided it had to look much better than it did to avoid embarrassment. I changed my thoughts to tadpole configuration and recycled Trikelops into what I initially called Trikelops 2. During a moment of sheer fun while riding it around our 5 acres and its construction process so far dimmed in my memory, the whole front end crashed to the ground while I was crossing a small spoon drain for the third time. Fortunately no injuries to myself but I seized the moment to rename it Trikeollapse and dragged it back to the shed, neglecting to take any photographs.

It was then that I decided I had to get serious as it was beginning to turn into a lot of fun. I purchased some Warrior plans and built essentially according to them - except for direct top-of-king-pin steering. The Warrior has gone through some experimental changes since then and will continue to do so as it is used for something of a testbed for another that I am building - eLecTricks.

It is 3 steps forward and 2 steps back as new things are tried and I almost have the lighting system for eLecTricks sorted out.

Those who don't get into this sort of thing don't know what they are missing and I promote Zombieism at every opportunity.
 
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....I very nearly went down the path of buying a trike (KMX) before going homebuilt. If I'd bought one I'd have been clobbered by import duties, probably doubling the price! Being backed into a corner was enough catalyst to do the DIY thing, and all the more fun for it. My style of riding is unhurried (plodder), and being 'laid back' is the best way to unwind and enjoy the scenery.

Ahhh, those halycon days in the far off 80's - can I claim second prize for the mullet ?
 
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I'm 48 and I've just turned 'Bent about 2 months ago, bought my KMX from Glasgow, I'm partially disabled and found riding a df to be problematic
 
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Thanks Sir Joey

This thread, is a great idea. Because AZ is much like a family affair, this is a great way to get to know, other members of our really extended, AZ family members. Not unlike the 'My Other Talent' thread.

My journey started in 2010,

I had this idea about getting fit, using a pedal car. We/I tried the 'up wrong' method and quickly realized, that wasn't in our best physical interest. During the months that followed, I found a website that sold plans for PVC cars. I sent away for a set of plans for their two seat SideKick model. I had no intention of actually building to their plan. I only wanted to learn how they, worked with PVC. I learned nothing from those plans.

Fast forward to the summer of 2012.

While surfing, 'for information', I somehow stumbled across AtomicZombie, and Brads super great tutorials. I knew virtually nothing about bicycle anatomy, and there before me, was a treasure trove, of 'How To's. And plans that really showed how to do what needed to be done. And that's when I discovered 'incumbents'.
I thought I would send in a picture of 'my quad'. To my surprise, Brad thought enough of it, to feature it in the Sept 17 newsletter..my birthday. Thanks Brad. I've been a daily follower ever since.



I did get my pedal car car built enough, for a couple of test drives. It drove great, but was way to heavy.​

As many here know, I tend to travel on different paths than most. And as Sandman, said. “I am not sure which I like most, the designing,, the building, or the riding,.....”. Though I do dream of driving/riding my creations, the journey through the designing, and building phase, is what inspires me the most.

Jumping forward to Mar 2013, and the Inferno build, is launched.

As with the working with PVC, I knew virtually nothing about working on bicycles, much less welding. AtomicZombie changed that pretty much in a heartbeat. With the kind help of a, (at the time) complete stranger, yet AZ member, Bruce (darnthedog), from another state, I got to try out MIG welding and was hooked. Bye, Bye, to my intro welder from Harbor Freight, and hello to my new Hobart HH140. Been happy ever since.

Though the Inferno Trike, is mechanically just about completed, the beautification process, hopes to be completed this year.

Another leap forward,

My present project, The StreetRunner. Because of what I have learned as a direct result of AZ, and all that participate, I am working on the StreetRunner quad build. What started out as a combination of a Street Fox, and a Delta Runner, has morphed into the building of my dream car,....a T bucket hot rod, though on a less than full scale size. I have abandoned it as a 'pedal car', in favor of electric all the way.

So we arrive to present day, with no projects completed as yet, but the drive (no pun intended) is still there. With my new work space soon ready to occupy,
there is hope of meaningful progress, on both of these projects, as well as some others in the mental pipeline.

I hold true to....🌞You are never to old to set another goal, or to dream a new dream.





 
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SirJoey

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I got BENT in 1982...



One thing my first HOME-BUILT had in common with yours, Brad, was a similar seat. Mine was rockin' the BOAT seat, LOL!

And of course, she was inspired by, & pays homage to the Kool Kat, thus the name, "AlleyKat". :)
I gave her to LocoLarry, another of our Zombie "senior statesmen" from years gone by, for helping me out!
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SirJoey

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Thanks Sir Joey

This thread, is a great idea. Because AZ is much like a family affair, this is a great way to get to know, other members of our really extended, AZ family members. Not unlike the 'My Other Talent' thread.
No thanx necessary ol' friend, but you're very welcome. I'm certainly enjoying reading folks' stories here! I can live their adventures
vicariously, as well as re-live some of my own! Wouldn't mind seeing you resurrect that "My Other Talent" thread, too!

LOVIN' that PVC car, btw! Surprised it was that heavy. What did you estimate it to weigh, anyway?

Lookin' forward to seeing what else comes out of the new "Ed Shed"! 😃

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SirJoey

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...and I dubbed it Trikelops.
...but I seized the moment to rename it Trikeollapse
...another that I am building - eLecTricks.
...and I promote Zombieism at every opportunity.
Those are some great, original, & very creative names there, my friend!
Like you, I try to come up with good ones for my creations. A name is a terrible thing to waste! :LOL:
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