Midwest Recumbent Rally – Steven’s Point, WI – August 6, 2011

I finished up the SAGBRAW ride Friday afternoon and since we were so close, we planned to attend the Midwest Recumbent Rally on Saturday.  The rally is put on by the Hostel Shoppe in Steven’s Point, WI.  It is a bike shop that carries all types of bikes, but they specialize in recumbents.  They are one of the largest, most well known recumbent shops.  This year is the 18th year for the rally.  I had been contemplating buying a recumbent trike so Deb and I could enjoy riding together more.  Trikes are a bit slower than a regular bike, so when I ride my road bike, I always have to stop and wait on her to catch up.  With both of us riding trikes we would be more compatible riding together.  About two weeks ago, I called the Hostel Shoppe and ordered a trike.  There was an outside chance that it would be in by the time we attended the rally.  It had to be shipped from England, and then be assembled by the shop, so I wasn’t going to get my hopes up.  I thought they would just have to ship it to me at a later date.  When we arrived at our hotel in Stevens Point on Friday, I called the shop to see if my trike was in……and was pleasantly surprised to find that it was.  We drove to the shop and they did the preliminary fit for my leg length.  They had literally just put it together; it was still up on the mechanic’s work rack.  They had not installed any of the accessories I’d ordered with it, so we left it there for them to finish.  The mechanic came back later that evening and did the final assembly.

The next morning we were back at the shop by 7:30am.  I rolled the trike out of their shop and off we went on the organized morning ride.  They had a 16, 32, and 41 mile route to choose from.  Deb thought we should only do 16 since I’d never ridden a trike before.  When we came to the turn off for the short route, I shouted for her to keep going straight on the 32 mile route.  I found the recumbent riding position to be comfortable and didn’t really feel like it was using any different muscles than an upright bike.  It’s very relaxed to ride laid back with a head rest……and definitely easier on your butt!  About half way through the ride, we stopped in the little town of Amherst at a bakery for a planned rest stop.  We had coffee and some decadent freshly baked goodies…….I opted for a Black Forest scone covered in chocolate!  The second half of the ride seemed to go quickly and we arrived back at the shop.  We lost the route a couple of times and ended up riding almost 38 miles total. 

Back at the shop, we spent most of the rest of the day shopping for more accessories.  I purchased some side pod bags, a trunk bag, a bag to hold a camelbak bladder on the back of the seat, a computer/camera/light mount, a t-shirt, and a camelbak bladder.  Deb found some things she couldn’t live without either.  In the parking lot, several different recumbent manufacturers had set up canopies and had the latest recumbent bikes and trikes to test ride.  They had a short route set up that incorporated a paved bike path for the test rides.  There was a constant stream of riders all afternoon testing the different recumbents.  Don from Tennessee who was on the SAGBRAW ride, also came to the rally.  He spent the afternoon doing test rides.  He even rode Deb’s trike.  He sat on mine, but his legs were way too long to ride it. 

We had to do some major reorganizing of all the stuff in the van in order to fit both trikes inside for the ride home.  I can see we will have to purchase a special hitch rack to haul both trikes.  We left late in the day and drove down to the Madison, WI area.  My folks have been traveling in their motor home since the first of June (they drove the ALCAN highway in Canada and Alaska).  They are on their way home, but were near Madison for a rally.  We went to the RV park where they were staying and spent the night with them before driving home the next day.  It was nice to see them again and I’m glad they will be home soon! 


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