Sanny takes a journey over to the Dark Side and attempts to leave his preconceptions at the door as he dives headfirst into the world of recumbent eBikes. Was it a match made in Heaven or a descent into niche Hell?
“What in the name of Grabthar’s hammer is that?” I opined to myself as I tried to work out how exactly the twisted unwieldy mass of metal, cabling and electrics that stood before me, akin to some Geiger-esque nightmare, would transform from ugly duckling into graceful swan. I could definitely see a pivot, what looked like handlebars and there was the requisite number of wheels (three) but I was buggered if I could work out how this was going transmogrify into something that could carry me offroad in teutonic comfort. What I was looking at in growing befuddlement was HP Velotechnik’s three wheeled electric recumbent, the Scorpion, configured into what one might call “transport” mode. Ignoring my gut instinct to run away screaming, a bit of careful maneuvering and adjustment soon had me flying along my street at what felt like an indecently fast and gloriously effortless pace.
This, dear reader, was my first experience of the ultra niche-beyond-niche that is the world of off road recumbent e bikes. Despite a fairly inauspicious start, I quickly found myself being drawn into this world of the unusual with the unbridled enthusiasm of a true convert. My mind was racing with the possibilities unfolding before me. Recumbents are, rightly or wrongly, widely regarded as the preserve of the beardy weirdy but with my eyes and mind opened, I was alive to the fun that could be had taking this weird contraption on familiar off road trails. Everything about it should have said “Stay on the road, lads! Don’t go on the moor!” but when was mountain biking ever about being sensible and staid? Sod that, I had a new toy to play on and a plan was hatching.