The 2017 Recumbent Cycle-Con Trade Show & Convention

Discussion in 'Cruzbikes at Speed (Racing: Events & Reports)' started by NeaL, Oct 9, 2017.

  1. NeaL

    NeaL Active Member

    I couldn't seem to get videos to link but here is a link to where I have posted a bunch from the Recumbent Cycle-Con near Philadelphia, this year. I was mostly trying to capture my kids' enjoyment of the event. I'll post a more detailed update sometime later. Towards the end my battery was dying so I have a bunch of very short clips from later in the day.

    https://www.facebook.com/neal.brooks.12/media_set?set=vb.1447021514&type=2
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2017
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  2. NeaL

    NeaL Active Member

    This might not be the most interesting review for the more gear-oriented cyclists among us. It's about a single father, wanting his kids to grow up free, in a world controlled by diamond-frame tyranny. [dramatic theme music]

    My primary objective in going to the Recumbent Convention was to see how my three kids felt about the T50, compared to their dad's Sofrider. I had no idea that the day was going to be so much more thrilling than any of us had realized.

    My plan had been to get new T50s for each of them next Christmas-ish time (I might need to leave them a raincheck under the tree if I can't get the bikes for them until January, or so) but then a certain someone offered me a good deal on some practically new Sofriders. Which would be better for my kids? My son was excited by the shade of blue on those Sofriders but the legs of my youngest are still a little too short for her dad's Cruzbike.
    Of course, the opportunity to see and ride some models of Cruzbike other than my Sofrider and meet Jim, Maria, & Lucia Parker was also a bonus.

    Upon our arrival at the expo, we each had to fill out and sign waivers saying basically that no one else was responsible if we got hurt, other than ourselves. I had anticipated that we might be required to have our own bike helmets so I made sure my kids each had theirs before we left the house around 5am that morning. I also made a note to myself to change hats; I didn't want to wear my Cruzbike hat around the convention floor and have anyone mistake me for being an official company representative. The expo ran from 9am until 5pm that day. I had wanted to get there when the doors opened but erroneously set the alarm for the wrong time. Thus, we didn't arrive until eleven. I figured we'd be there maybe two hours at the most before my kids got too bored to behave, then we'd go see Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell before grabbing dinner at one of the famous Philly cheesesteak establishments.

    Walking into the convention, I had wanted to browse each of the booths before getting to Cruzbike's, saving the best for last, but I stumbled upon them about halfway through. My youngest daughter quickly identified Maria as the bike lady from the documentary, for we had watched 'HOPE' together the night before the convention.
    There were three Cruzbikes on display: a light green T50, an S40, and a cobalt blue V20.
    I talked with Lucia briefly and learned that we had to sign up for the available 20 minute time slots for riding either a QX100 or S40 outside in the bike corral. I explained that I was there primarily to see about getting my kids test-fitted on a T50, just in case I needed to mount at least one of the three gift bikes with smaller diameter wheels, and also particularly to see if my son liked the T50 better than his dad's Sofrider. So she obliged, getting the one T50 down from its display stand so my kids could get a better look at it and straddle it to see how well their feet could touch the ground. Then we went outside to see the Cruzbikes available for riding.

    I recognized a couple other vendor brands from my online searches for information on recumbents, like Rans and Bacchetta. Laidback Bike Report was present and accounted for. From previous Laidback Bike Report videos on YouTube, I spotted Peter Stull of The Bicycle Man bike shop in Alfred Station, New York. He was there with some Linear bikes to demonstrate.

    I soon realized that a different approach was needed for Cruzbikes than any of the other bikes, trikes, or quadricycles at the convention, and Cruzbikes seemed to be the only ones needing sign-up sheets. For most everything else available there to ride, people were riding them from their booths, through the expo hall, out into the corral, and back into the expo hall when they were done. Waves of riders on bikes and trikes were outside, zipping around a loop in a counter-clockwise direction. Trying to do the same thing with Cruzbikes: riding them from the Cruzbike booth through the venue to go outdoors and back again, for anyone who has never ridden one before could possibly result in injuries or damage to property.
    Outside I found Jim Parker and another gentleman I met there named Abbott, who were conducting brief one-on-one lessons and pedal adjustments for people riding the QX100 and S40. The S40 was one of Jim's own personal bikes, having been recently used in a race; its race number still attached to the frame of the bike.

    Somehow I had not realized how much my kids were chomping at the bit to go for a spin on all of the other rides that were there. Ol' dad had found fellow members of his Cruzbike tribe and he was content to just stand there next to the QX100 and S40 while talking with Jim & Abbott as the opportunities arose.
    First my eldest made herself comfortable reading a book. Then my youngest set her things down beside her older sister and slowly started making her way towards the door to go back inside. My son had disappeared. I wasn't too worried, he's usually well behaved unless he's quarreling with his sisters or finds other boys to play with. The kids were getting along just fine at the moment and I hadn't seen any other children in attendance.
    Moments later here comes my 13 year old son, the middle child, flying around the outdoor bike corral on what was probably the monster truck of offroad trikes! Did I say he could go ride that? Well, maybe. I just thought that I'd be asking for him. Nope, he saw something he liked and took it upon himself to ask if he could ride it.
    Most of the trikes there had two wheels in the front for steering and one drive wheel in the back, just like the one my son was on. A few of the trikes had two wheels in the back. There were also a few tandems and even a couple with side-by-side seating for two. By the end of the day, I think he tried them all.

    Personally, I was just there to check out what Cruzbike had on display and meet the Cruzbike representatives. Sure, I would have liked to try out any of the other rides that were there but I had no real intention of buying any of them, so I didn't want to give the impression that I might be a paying customer. My kids, however, felt no such inhibitions. My son was going from one ride to the next, taking them out for a spin, bringing them back, and moving on to the next one he wanted to try. His younger sister was pulled into his wake, willfully surfing his wave of enthusiasm and encouragement to try this one, and now that one, and those rides next.
    They were acting like kids with new toys because, well, they were kids with new toys. In retrospect, I would say it is lucky for them that they were the only children at the expo because otherwise it could have been total chaos! The presence of so many adults seemed to help temper their behavior. If my son and a bunch of other boys his age had been turned loose in the recumbent convention, the corral outside probably would have ended up looking more like a demolition derby. By themselves, they were okay.

    Otherwise, it was a mostly older crowd. A few overweight people and others with physical disabilities, that seemed to be the market demographic for recumbent bikes and trikes. And that's unfortunate because my kids simply had a blast. I'd like to see a lot more children introduced to recumbents, rather than living their lives only riding diamond frame bikes just because, well, that's all they ever see in bike shops and retail stores.

    Later in the day a well-used, yellow Vendetta with Maria's name on it also showed up at the Cruzbike booth. Another Cruzbike owner was there and had his white V2K with him. My own gray Sofrider was in the bed of my truck out in the parking lot but I didn't think to bring it in. What would I expect to do with it, impress anyone? Not in this crowd. The ad for my Sofrider on Craigslist said it was a "prototype" but I didn't know if that made it special or sub-standard or whatnot. Maybe if the expo could have been something like Antique Recumbent Roadshow, "What you've got here, young lad, is the very first Cruzbike Sofrider ever made. It's [(a) roadworthy, but nothing more, (b) just a piece of crap, you got hoodwinked, (c) today worth about £75,500.00, you lucky fellow!]" No, probably not.

    One man got on the S40 outside, rode it for his 20 minute time slot with a smile on his face, went back inside to the Cruzbike booth, and outright bought their s40 display model, as equipped, and left with it. I was told that the blue Vendetta was also sold, to be picked up the next day, Sunday, the last day of the expo. Empty display stands are a good problem to have when the convention is over. All in all, it was a good day for Cruzbike.

    In addition to all of the other bikes, trikes, and quadricycles, all three of my kids also took the QX100 and S40 for a few spins. I thought we'd be there for a couple hours at the most but instead we were there for almost six hours, right up to the point where they were closing things down for the day at five o'clock.

    It was great to finally meet Jim & Maria, plus Lucia. I hope they were completely unaware that, on the inside, I was kinda fan-girling over finally meeting them in person. And Abbott was great, informative, and educational company outside at the corral. There was one other Cruzbike representative who was there but his name escapes me.

    The organizers of the Recumbent Cycle-Con did a great job in holding this event and I hope this experience was able to plant some seeds for the future, kindling within my three children an interest in recumbents, which could maybe spread to their friends and others we meet along the way throughout their lives.
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2017 at 9:51 AM
    Robert O, Emeljay, jond and 9 others like this.

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