When Maria received this email update from Michael, a new Cruzbike S40 owner, she immediately shared it with the rest of the team and asked if we could share it with the whole Cruzbike community. Michael so precisely describes what it means to be comfortable riding a Cruzbike. We hope you enjoy his reflection as much as we did:
Let me tell you what I mean by “I’m now comfortable with riding my S40”.
When anyone first interacts with new technology, the disconnect between the nervous system and the technology is generally is attributed to the technology — unless the technology is broadly used. For example, a child’s difficulty in learning to ride a diamond framed bike is seldom attributed to the bike’s design. Millions have learned to ride traditional bikes, so no one blames the bike.
New or innovative technology — like a front wheel drive recumbent — is seldom afforded the same benefit. The nervous system naturally produces discomfort when someone learns to ride a traditional or a recumbent bike, but in the case of the recumbent — the bike design receives the blame. So, “getting comfortable with a Cruzbike”, in one sense, means enduring the inherent discomfort in training the nervous system until new neural patterns become habituated and fall below conscious awareness. It’s the same process experienced by children when learning to ride a traditional bike. In this sense, the discomfort associated with learning to ride the Cruzbike S40 dissipated after a couple of dozen rides.
“Comfortable" also speaks to the physical impact of the S40 on my body. We are all comfortable (from a learned behavior standpoint) with walking in shoes, but we tend to avoid shoes that pinch our toes or abrade our skin. However, some technologies require us to endure the discomfort (and downright pain) in our bodies in exchange for the benefits the technology can bring. In such cases, we try to adjust our bodies to avoid the pain and discomfort. Traditional bikes fall into this category of technologies. Inherent in the design is weight-bearing on body parts not evolved to support the weight and a “head-up” neck extension to see.
The benefits - and pure joy - of biking lead us to make adjustments to our bodies to minimize this pain and discomfort. In many cases, however, these inherent sources of pain and discomfort cannot be eliminated and serve as the limiting factor in enjoying a biking experience.
A Cruzbike does not present such limitations. The design itself eliminates impacts on the body associated with traditional bike designs, so a rider need not make any adjustments to his or her body to mitigate "diamond framed pain".
So, by saying I am comfortable with my S40, I also mean I am enjoying riding without the pain and discomfort experienced every time I rode an archaic bike. This "comfortable" began with my very first ride.
I’ve now moved on to “gobs of fun”!