WHAT’S YOUR RIDE?

by TOMOYA SHIMURA

RIDING LOW: RECUMBENT TRICYCLE

Monica McCarthy rides a recumbent tricycle, which allows riders to recline and stretch their legs while pedaling.

Why ride a recumbent tricycle? I’ve been riding bikes for 35 years. I used to ride a road bike all the time. I’d ride 50 miles every Saturday and Sunday. I’d go on biking trips. And if I had a day off, I’d ride with the Bicycle Club of Irvine.

Three years ago, I felt a burning sensation in my neck and back, and tingling in my arms and hands. I had to stop riding. Then I tried a recumbent, which is easier on the back. It’s night and day. I was able to get back to riding with friends and the club.

How did it change your life? I don’t have any more neck or knee issues. It was important for me not to give up things. This bike is a blessing. I named it “The Light at the End of the Tunnel.” I cannot ride like I used to anymore, but it helps me stay connected with people I care about.

Describe Irvine’s bikeways. This is the best place. There are bike lanes on all the roads, and it has tremendous off-road bike trails as well. You can’t beat Irvine for biking.


RUNNING ON WHEELS: ELLIPTICAL BIKE

Sue Southgate and her husband, Jay, ride standup elliptical bikes that they don’t pedal, but propel with running-like strides.

Why ride an elliptical? We were avid runners and hikers. In 2010, we hiked the Grand Canyon and met a physician in his 70s who was in great shape. He told us he rode an elliptical, so when we got back we tested one and loved it.

What are the benefits? It’s a lot easier on your body than riding a regular bike. You don’t get any neck, back and seat pain that comes from sitting hunched over on a saddle.

It’s also easier on your body than running. You get the benefits of running without the impact on your knees, hips and back. Many elliptical riders are former runners who can’t run anymore due to injuries. There’s also a very active group of riders every weekend. We’ve taken a couple of European tour with that group.

What do you think about Irvine’s bikeways? In the U.S., it’s the best we’ve seen. It doesn’t get a whole lot better. We have visitors from all over the world, and we take them out for a ride, and they are blown away by our bike trails.