Go Fly a Bike (Karl Kissinger)

Not that I’m an expert on dream analysis, but I’ve read that when one dreams of flying it is an indication of great happiness or contentment with one’s life at the time.  I’m referring to the dream where you fly like Superman or Peter Pan.  Not in a plane.  In this type of dream you’re floating or gliding through space over some place familiar to you and you’re able to keep yourself aloft by stretching your arms or arching your back.  This dream is considered common and many people have flying dreams.  If you’ve never had one I hope you do some time in your life.  As much as I’d like to actually fly, I’m not holding my breath, but ten years ago I discovered something that I believe is as close to this sensation as you can get.


Now, it seems like I’ve been a bike commuter all of my life.  Since getting out of school, with the exception of a short span or two, I’ve worked close enough to home to commute.  One summer I was going through a period of higher mileage between commuting and other recreational riding when I started to feel the effects of too much time in the saddle.  You as fellow bikers know what I mean, sore butt, wrists, neck, fatigue, etc.  So I shuffled into my local bike shop and started to nose around.  Glancing at “comfort” bikes with big spongy saddles, upright posturing and cruiser style handle bars, I was approached by an employee who engaged me in idle chat having nothing to do with the bikes before me but rather riding in general.  Things like where I like to ride, was I out today, so forth and so on.  Sneaky these guys are because before long I was lamenting my situation and my concerns that biking isn’t fun anymore or I’m burning out when the this young man asked me if I ever tried a recumbent bike.  I’ve never ridden one but I’ve seen them and told him so and tried to move the subject in another direction because I couldn’t see myself on one of these “oddball” things.

Well, before long I found us out in front of the shop with my legs straddling a Rans V-Rex short wheel base recumbent.  I was being prepped on my first recumbent ride and, with my instructions complete, I was being walked along supported by the employee hearing the words “Okay, I’m going to let go of you now.”  With that I was set aloft, wobbly and shaky searching for balance.  It was the same exact feeling you had a as child when your parent or older sibling shoved you down the hill behind your house, not knowing whether you would stay up or go down.

There I was with my feet stretched out in front of me, finding my balance, “YES! I’ve found it,” straightening out then picking up speed.  I doubled backed and passed in front of the bike shop where the young man smiled and seemed to be as happy as I was.  “It’s…it’s like a magic carpet ride,” I cried.  I truly felt as if I were flying.  I was reclining back in unimaginable bike comfort looking out at the blue sky and world in front of me without pressure on my hands, wrists, neck or butt.  To go faster all needed to do was to flex my legs forward.

It’s just like the flying dream, I thought.  This is it.  This is what the dream felt like.  Well, a decade or so has passed and I still commute to work on my Rans V-Rex.  Yes, I own and ride an upright bike as a change up from time to time, but the fun, comfort and joy of riding a recumbent is something I think all bikers need to experience.  These bikes come in many shapes and styles.  They can be super comfy and wickedly fast.  If you decide to test ride a recumbent, do be warned.  You may be converted and find the machine an exciting addition to your stable.  Your magic carpet awaits you.  Just sit back and enjoy your flight.



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