We're borrowing Loren's RANS Screamer. Maddie loves it. She can't reach the pedals and the seat is much more comfortable than the xtracycle -- she can sit cross-legged and sing while I do all the work.
Liza has yet to ride it. Maybe this weekend.
I rode my trusty RB-T out to the Wandermere area this morning and took a tandem ride with my buddy Loren. He just bough a used Rans Screamer. I like these bikes. It's a recumbent tandem.
Ever since I saw Alex's Screamer and heard the stories of his epic tours with Larry, I've wanted to ride one. Larry now owns the Screamer. For context, Larry is the guy that owns Oly Bike Shop (this is the kind of bike shop Spokane is ready for: it's all about the commuter), produced the Washington State Bike Law pamplet, went on the St. Helen's tour and Vancouver Island tour with Alex and me, and all around nice guy.
Anyway, Loren took me up a pretty steep climb right off the bat. That was tough. The recumbent really works your quads. I rely on standing for hard climbs, so staying seated and pounding out a climb really worked me aerobically. It was hard, but satisfying and fun in that lung-searing, lactic-acid-building way.
I was the captain. I kind of was looking forward to being the stoker so I could sit back and take some pics, but I'm glad I captained. I really got a feel for the handling. I found the steering to be super touchy. I sort of got used to it after an hour of riding or so but there's no relaxing -- you are always steering and slightly correcting in a much more active way than you do on an upright bike. Loren said I need to relax more and not squirm around so mich. Maybe so. No doubt, I need more time on the bike.
Shifting was really fussy. I hate grip shifts. I would put friction thumbshifters on this bike if I owned it. Descents were really nice, it's like rolling down a hill in a lazy boy. Loren worked the drum brake, so I just had to manage the steering. I like this bike. I need to spend more time on it to feel comfortable with it, but if Liza or (someday) Maddie was down with it, I think we could dig it.
I really want to try riding this bike with Liza. Loren is going to loan it to us so we can give it a try. More on that to follow.