Day 1. Utrecht to Hoog Soren contd.

We'd already realised that trikes are cool and attract people's attention. However Amersfoort was a good lesson in the vulnerability of recumbents (as shown by this video). Town work with the low seating position, and being seated so far back on the bike does not show recumbent in its best light. Your feet and lower body have to poke a metre and a half out into a road before you can look round a blind corner. Being so low down makes you even less visible than the average cyclist and a bright pennant fluttering at the back of the trike does not compensate much. I'd go as far as saying that these limitations make using a recumbent in town rather dangerous.

Still at that moment safety was a minor concern. After two LF cycle route signs there were suddenly no more to be found. We ended up with an unscheduled tour of the centre which made us immediately aware of the problems of turning these trikes round.

In the end we had to ask twice for directions. We managed to get out of the centre of Amersfoort but then on the edge of town we kept on missing signs or finding ones that did not make sense. The large turning circle of these types of bikes was now very clear indeed as a definite minus point. We often have problems navigating and with our touring bikes turning is rarely a problem. Even with the Bromptons and their swing under rear forks it is not so difficult to change direction.

The trikes are another story. Turning on a standard Dutch cycle track is impossible if you want to stay within the confines of the track. A road wide enough for two cars is just about big enough for the Scorpion but insufficient for the the combination of an NT Trice and Damae's hips. By the end of the troubles around Amersfoort Damae was getting more adept at shuffling back and forth after we had missed another turning.

One other problem which is shared with small wheeled cycles like our Bromptons is the ride comfort on the brick pave used everywhere in the Netherlands. I was quite surprised a few times to experience near Brompton levels of trilling though the Scorpion's handlebars. Damae noticed the same with her Trice. Given that the wheels are connected to the handlebars via ball joints and the bars have their own pivot, I can only assume that the vibration is being transferred through the frame from the wheels (I have since read on internet cycling forums, that Big Apple style tyres help in this respect).

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