Brink Bak the Zak!

Haluzak HorizonOK… If anybody sees one of these crazy contraptions rolling around their neighborhood, chase the rider down and make them sell it to me.  This is a Haluzak Horizon.  It is a recumbent bicycle.  It has under seat steering, a small front shock on a 20 front wheel and a 26 (or 27…?) inch rear wheel.  The rider pedals off of the front boom and sits in a super comfy suspension seat.  The chain is over 8 feet long…!  You can ride this bike for DAYS and feel great when you get off.  It’s like pedaling a Lazy Boy.

I had one of these when I was in California.  I bought it when I was recovering from back surgery and nothing else was tolerable.  I’m pretty sure it saved my life.  I had to sell it a few years ago (just before we moved to Missouri) and I have regretted it ever since.  It was fast, nimble and unbelievably fun.  I even hooked up my kid’s trailer to it.  Together, the combination stopped traffic.  People gawked like they were seeing a parade.  It was awesome.  The more I get back into bicycling, the more I wish I had this bike back.

As with any recumbent, these bikes are great on the flats, REALLY great on the downs, and painfully slow on the ups.  They are a bit heavy and just don’t get the power to the ground as well as a regular bike going up hill.  And, before someone pops off about it… NO.  I would not be doing triathlons on it.  Besides, they are illegal for most triathlons anyway.

But the more I bike commute to work, the more it gives me time to think about travel by bike.  With the fantastic resource that we have in the Katy trail… A flat, fast, LOOONNNNG trail (about 265 miles one way), it would be very easy to do some great touring by bicycle.  There are already some great organized rides on the Katy and plenty of places to stop for the night (both campgrounds and hotels), so getting practiced at bike touring on the relative safety of a trail closed to vehicles would be easy.  And I can’t think of any better bike to do it on.  My personal “bucket list” contains a bicycle tour across the US and one around the British Isles.  This would be a great bike to get me there.

Mr. Haluzak stopped making these wonderful bikes in 2006.  A tragedy, really.  I’m sure he would still make one for me custom, but I can’t afford that.  But there are a few of them floating around out there for sale on Craigslist or eBay from time to time.  Unfortunately, they have been limited to the coasts so far and I would really like to see the bike first.  These bikes are custom fit to the rider.  The seat doesn’t move, the boom does.  I want to make sure the boom hasn’t been adjusted past where I can customize it for me.

As much as I would like a mountain bike for off season and cross training rides, I think I would rather have my old ‘Zak back.  They are getting harder to find (in good condition…) and I really don’t even have any place to put it, but I’d sure make room if I could find one…!

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