I wasn't 100% better, but needs must, so I got out there and rode!
This was the machine I was on this time round:
So what is it I hear you cry. Well, it is a Challenge Twister Recumbent. It has one big wheel and one small wheel. You sit in the seat, steer under your legs - and pray!
What's the point I hear you ask. Well, a very good question. Generally as far as I can work out, the main advantage is being aerodynamic - you present a much smaller "wall" to the air so you can go faster.
Also, you get a proper seat so you don't have to worry about saddle sores or any other such injuries.
There are a number of unique challenges to the bike though - so we'd better run through them.
Firstly it is the fact that the thing is a bit longer than a normal bike. This leads to a few "manoeuvrability" issues - especially as you can't steer it as hard as a normal bike. Secondly, when you start off, you don't seem to get the immediate balance that you do on a normal bike (granted this may be practice). Thirdly, as an "ordinary" cyclist - it seems incredibly "weird" to be riding lying down - given my recent prangs, being in the position you are normally in shortly before hitting the floor is a bit odd. There was one further issue that I had - but I'll get to that!
The main concern that I had before riding was that I would not be visible enough. This was NOT a concern in the end - people generally were intrigued by this "unusual" looking machine and I think the uniqueness of its look meant it was more visible than a "normal" bike.
I had to get off and walk Ditchling. I was cold, wet, it was windy and I was really struggling with my legs. This was a little concerning as there is still the last hill into Brighton after that - but that was "fine":
Strava details here: http://www.strava.com/activities/96521538/analysis I think the slow time is a reflection of how much I was suffering in the last 20 or so miles of the ride. I have just seen that my max speed with 43 mph(!) which is certainly the fastest I have been on these rides so far.