Experts ignore the dangerous aspect of Recumbent bicycles. They are not as safe as many claim.
Recumbent bicycles have several health benefits over traditional bicycles. HealthyLivingAfter60.com did a review of the stationary recumbent bicycle last year.
Bicycles in general offer enormous cardiovascular benefits. The workout of riding a bicycle when used as a regular cardiovascular exercise will aid in reducing heart rate and lowering blood pressure. The benefits of improved breathing can be included.
The recumbent bike is included in these benefits but has other special qualities of it’s own.
For anyone who has attempted a diet knows the need to reduce calories is important. Just as important in weight management is the calorie burn we achieve from exercise.
Working the big muscles is often difficult with an ordinary workout in a gym or home setting.
Riding a bicycle gives the legs, thighs and buttocks a workout that tones and strengthens.
Experts point out the safety of recumbent bicycles
The safety issue of recumbent bikes over traditional bicycles has to do with the ease of riding. The rider is closer to the ground making a fall less dangerous.
The larger seat compared to an upright bicycle is credited to additional safety of recumbents. The seat also offers back support. Some studies claim this feature also contributes to the bike’s overall safety.
The Real Danger Of Recumbent Bicycles
The real danger in bicycles is not the style or type of bicycle your ride. The danger is in the vehicular traffic around you as you ride.
There are clubs, organizations and foundations all dedicated to the education of drivers for the benefit of motorcycles. The point that’s continual made, look twice. Drivers often do not see motorcycles.
If drivers don’t see motorcycles, image how invisible bicycles must be.
A recumbent bicycle sits low to the ground. The rider can be literally inches from the pavement. The bike is designed for the legs to extend outward in front of the rider, eliminating strain on parts of the body.
The extreme low profile of the bicycle dramatically reduces it’s ability to be seen. Many riders will display a flag raised overhead on an antenna type pole to aid in visibility. Even then, many riders are overlooked by vehicular traffic.
The danger is real. It was reported recently that a child was killed riding home from school on an ordinary bicycle. He was on the sidewalk, wearing a helmet and doing everything he was suppose to do.
He approached the driveway to a parking lot. A pickup truck leaving the parking to did not see the child on the traditional upright bicycle. The child was struck and killed.
The point is of course, if the driver of a pickup, sitting high with a better view than other traffic, can not see a boy on a bicycle, imagine a senior riding low to the pavement on a recumbent bicycle.
We often hear that the two most asked questions regarding the recumbent bike are;
- Are they hard to ride?
- Are they comfortable?
We should be hearing, are they safe?
If you are determined to ride a recumbent bicycle, do so off the roadway. Ride on designated bike paths that do not have vehicular traffic. Ride your recumbent only in the daylight. Flashing lights, a necessity for night riding, will make little difference on a bike that is already hard to see.
In the age of cellphones, GPS’s, and other devices to distract drivers, a low riding senior on a recumbent bicycle has little chance of being seen. A full size SUV stopped at a red light could very well never see the recumbent bicycle sitting to the right.
Benefits Of Recumbent Bicycles
There are benefits to recumbents over traditional bicycles. The extended legs will put less stress on both hips and knees. Studies have shown the flex angle of the joints is less with a recumbent bicycle allowing a more ‘friendly’ rotation of the joints as you ride.
Those with arthritis have reported the recumbent bike offers a more pleasant ride, with less discomfort.
The benefits of recumbent bicycles are wonderful. You can enjoy them all with the stationary version. Placing a recumbent in your home or riding one at the gym will allow you all the health benefits without the dangers.
HealthyLivingAfter60.com did this review of a stationary recumbent bicycle the Exerpeutic 900XL, last year.
Here is a short video from Exerpeutic Fitness.
Here is a link of what’s available at Amazon.com
We Are Growing Older
Most of us have come to understand the consequences of getting hurt. For many seniors, a broken hip could result in permanent disabilities or death.
Broken hips often require long recovery in bed. The sedentary life of being restricted to bed can easily result in pneumonia. A serious thing for seniors.
Exercise for seniors is a wonderful thing. Riding a bicycle is a great way to get that exercise. The dangers of riding the wrong bike in the wrong place however, may outweigh all the benefits.
If you have questions or comments, please leave them in the comments section below. —Robert