Batavus Relaxx
M5 recumbent yours truly on the Relaxx

Why a recumbent?

In February 1996, while cross-country skiing in Sweden, I had an unfortunate backwards fall and landed on the sharp edge of the skis. It wasn't very painful, but I had trouble getting back up to return to the cabin, some 6 Miles further down the track. I managed to get there, eventually, and didn't bother to try go get to the hospital, 50 Miles down the road, since it was the last day of the holiday anyway. I had a terrible night, throwing up blood, and thinking I was going to die. The next day I returned home, unable to stand upright. I figured I might have a slipped disk, kept a stiff upper lip and continued the +750 Miles drive home. Back home, I managed to get to work and forgot all about the nasty fall.

Half a year later, while lifting a computer monitor, I found myself on the floor, with numb legs. Again, I diagnosed myself as having a spinal disc herniation, crawled onto the sofa and called the doctor. Three week later, back on the job, I noticed loss of feeling in my legs again and went to the hospital, where the diagnose was a 'problem' with the spinal cord. I had surgery and only then, on the operation table, it was found that I had two broken vertebrae, that were "floating". This must have happened at the skiing accident.

After  four hours of surgery, I returned to my room with a lot of stuff missing in my back, i.e. on the levels L3, L4, L5, the spinal canal had to be broadened by roaming the foramina, and in the process, the laminae were removed, leaving me with a vulnerable open back.

It took me a couple of months to recover from the surgery, and I was very fortunate not to end up in a wheelchair, but my back will always remain a weak spot. In 1997 I was diagnosed with "Failed Back Syndrome" and was declared +66% disabled.

Later in 1997 I managed to ride a bike again: I bought a brand new recumbent in Eindhoven, The Netherlands, at De Liggende Hollander since there were no such bikes on offer in Belgium... I had a couple of test-rides on different bikes, and in the end was left with the choice between a Batavus Relaxx and an M5. I decided to have the best bike available and bought the M5, equipped with hydraulic Magura brakes, front and rear suspension, in short: the full Monty. $$$ in those days, but well worth the money... until an expensive divorce forced me to sell the M5.


In the short period of time I had the M5, I've learned that a recumbent is a very dangerous vehicle, since it is physically impossible to view over the shoulder to watch oncoming traffic. Other road users have difficulty to spot a recumbent in traffic, due to it's low profile and higher speed, compared to a normal bicycle.

In 2003 I bought a Batavus Relaxx, and enjoyed it for a while, as can be seen in the small clip at the top of this page.. I eventually sold it and bought my first e-bike to replace it.

The biggest advantage of a recumbent is that it is very comfortable for people with back-problems: I managed to ride, even with a slipped disc, and not being able to walk properly.

A three-wheeled recumbent would be my HPV of choice, but these are rare as hen's teeth and very expensive, even on the second-hand market..

In July 2015, after a hot day working in the garden, I suffered from angina percoris. Having had two heart-attacks before, I recognized the danger, rushed to hospital, and underwent a quadruple CABG.. Since then, my HPV of choice is my Batavus E-go e-bike.

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