First longish Vendetta ride today. https://www.strava.com/activities/846399433/overview This is my fourth recumbent, I've owned Rans v-rex, Optima Orca, Bacchetta Aero Ti. I also ride an ElliptiGo quite a bit. The Aero Ti opened my eyes to the faster recumbents. Since I live in a smaller urban area, bent riders are not exactly abundant and I am not aware of any fast ones. One cannot overstate the importance of socializing with like minded people. I started attending club rides and found myself quickly graduating to the A group. All was great till we'd hit a long hill. Then I'd feel embarrassed when I see them waiting for me at the top of the hill. Oh well. Since the Aero has its limitations and I've been Cruzebike curios for a while, I started thinking about a Vendetta. An almost new one came up for sale on the forum, a deal too good to pass - showed up on my front door just in time for my 42nd birthday. At least I could excuse my actions to my wife with full blown mid-life crisis. After the mandatory parking lot figure 8s and other drills in the evenings after work, weather cooperated today afternoon I decided to take her on her maiden voyage. I have not yet binged on accessories as I want to make sure it this relationship will work before I spent even more. Just took some stuff from the other bikes, it is OK to ride. I hit my favorite hill because I had a lot of Strava data to compare with. Handling was surprisingly easy. With a few exceptions, like pedaling on fast downhills, starting uphill or on the wrong gear and cars passing too close, I felt in control. I could easily take off my glove, helmet, hat, put my helmet back on, clip it in and put my glove back on while pedaling uphill. I ended up touching ground a few times, at full stop or departure, but it seems I still sometimes do that on the bacchetta too. At this time I still do not clip in pedals. My performance was not great though. The ellpitigo has kept me in a decent cardio shape and even though I have not ridden the Aero recently, I though at least some of those bent muscles were still strong. But my legs were hurting even before my HR was in the 160s. On the Elliptigo I cruise at 160. I think I would have done much better on the Bacchetta. Whether it was the more reclined seat or the MBB or the flat pedals, or all of the above, I do not know, but it is clear, becoming fast on this bike will take some serious training. The ride is comfortable! Even on the chip seal. I don't know if it is the 25mm tires or the long wheel base, but it felt as good as the Orca with a rear suspension. The seat with the standard pad I am not impressed with. By the middle of the ride it felt as good as a pine board. By the end my back was almost painful, specially around my waist where the elastics of the pants and the ends of the shirts were digging in and between my shoulder blades. I know, it is winter and I wore many layers with many seams, but still... This is a potential deal breaker. I hope the ventiseat pad can improve on this. Not having lumber support may become an issue for the longer rides, though that is usually an easier fix. I found myself trying different positions on the seat itself- lower - full contact on the bottom, middle- light contact, higher. It may take some tweaking of the boom and the neck rest. Neck rest is good. I found myself keeping my head up straining my neck too much, but I think this will get better with practice. Some slipping on the steep, wet asphalt, I actually was prepared for worse. Numb feet came at some point, though given the air temperature and the fact I was wearing two pears of socks - not too bad. As I was done with the hills and was trying to push it on the flat, I got a cramp on my lower hamstring, behind he knee. At 25 miles! Not good. Speed was not great on the flat, but again - I am just learning to ride again. One thing is for sure- I do not miss the long chain! Overall - I am still excited. This may take less balance practice, but much more muscle training than I expected. Now, between work, family and ElliptiGoing, I have to find time for the Vendetta.