2022 marks the year that recumbent bikes are being introduced for medal contention in the National Senior Games Cycling Time Trials being held at Florida Live in Sunrise, Florida. There are divisions for two- and three-wheel recumbents, and competitors we spoke with felt as happy to have the opportunity to ride them as much as their desire to win a medal.
Many riders who have handled both types of bikes report that recumbent bikes have aerodynamic mechanisms that give them the ability to move very fast, as much as three to eight miles per hour faster than road bikes going uphill. When going downhill, recumbent bikes can move 15-20 miles per hour faster than road bikes. In fact, they are the fastest human-powered bicycles.
Many needed to use recumbents in competition due to physical limitations, and others like how comfortable and fast they are. New Yorker Lance Gunderson, 56, got into it for both reasons. “My girlfriend has a bad back and cannot ride an upright bike for long,” he explains. “I do a lot of upright riding as well, but I’ve found the recumbent is far more relaxed, and it’s easier to go fast and stay fast.”
Lance also disputes some claims recumbents don’t do well going uphill. “I climbed Whiteface Mountain in upstate New York, which is an 8 ½% grade all the way up 11 miles so it definitely works,” Lance explains. “The only advantage a road bike has over this is that it’s easier to take places than a recumbent. I like it.”
Marc Sacco, The Patient Whisperer
One cyclist that appeared on our radar this year has one whale of a survival story to share.
Marc Sacco of Reading, Vermont once had aspirations for the Olympics until a road accident relegated him to recreational cycling and running in his 20s. He had no notion of returning to competition until extreme challenges prompted him to pursue it as part of recovery therapy. His professional background also gave him a powerful healing tool that he claims has saved his life. We agree.
NSGA featured Marc as our April 2022 Athlete of the Month, and we feel that many have missed his incredible story in the hustle and bustle of preparing to come to The Games. We assure you it’s well worth reading so we are sharing his entire story again here. Good luck Marc! “The Patient Whisperer” April 2022 Athlete of the Month