Book review: How Recumbents Are Exactly Like Beer (and Other Half-Baked Theories), By Bryan J. Ball (2013 BentRider Books)
Most folks who have traveled the roads of the U.S., Europe and many other regions, whether as drivers, bicyclists, pedestrians or passengers, have seen a “recumbent” – that odd-looking cycle on which the rider lies almost flat on his back, feet extended forward as he pedals maniacally down the road (see example in photograph below). And our initial thought on sighting one of these contraptions for the first time is often, “What the ...,” followed closely by, “Why?!” How Recumbents Are Exactly Like Beer answers those questions.
The book is written by Bryan J. Ball, an individual uniquely qualified to expound on the subject. An avid rider of recumbents, or ‘bents as they are known to their riders, Ball is also the managing editor of BentRider (http://www.bentrideronline.com/), a recumbent-centric website boasting 70,000 readers worldwide. Ball participated in the mainstream bike industry as a mechanic, salesman and semi-professional racer for almost a decade before trying recumbents. In his current position, he has tested and reviewed more recumbents than all but a handful of recumbent cyclists have even ridden.
How Recumbents Are Exactly Like Beer is a series of columns, interviews, and travel stories compiled by Ball during his 14 years writing about recumbent bicycles. Well written, informative and often funny, the book illuminates not only these unique conveyances, but also the peculiar mindset of cyclists – both recumbent and “diamond frame” (i.e., “normal”) riders. The book covers the recent history of recumbent bicycles, the cycle’s positive and negative qualities, the current state of the recumbent industry, and its predicted future. Easy to digest and filled with entertaining vignettes, it is a fun and pleasurable read.
Sales of recumbent cycles (particularly recumbent tricycles) have reportedly exploded in recent years – even during the recession. Anyone with more than passing interest in such cycles should consider reading How Recumbents Are Exactly Like Beer.
If you liked this article, kindly share or "Like" it. And if you enjoy my blog, be sure to subscribe to it (see blue buttons to the right, just beneath the periscope in San Diego Harbor). Thanks!
SUBSCRIBE TO FUTURE BLOG ARTICLES