I very much like what BJ does for the recumbent community and for our planet. Repairing products which would be normally very difficult to repair and would be thrown away is extremely important nowadays because overconsumption is killing nature around us. I also like BJ’s story. So let’s start the interview with it:

“I began riding recumbents in 1991 — my first was a Turner (based off the old Hypercycle) I built up from a frameset. From there I’ve owned countless recumbents, owned a small recumbent shop, managed another popular shop and was employed by two recumbent manufacturers. My freelance writing saw its way into various cycling publications and I’ve been fortunate to have known many of the giants of the recumbent and HPV scene. 

Over the years I performed various upholstery projects and repairs. Out of convenience, and some necessity, my upholstery and recumbent interests came together. Now, in semi-retirement, I offer my ability to the recumbent community. I know recumbents, understand their seating and have specialty sewing machines that can tackle about anything recumbent related. Whether your recumbent is bike or trike, American, European, Australian or Asian, still in production or long gone, it can have a new seat.  My seats are individually handmade in ‘Colorful Colorado’. Options, customization and special requests are available.

I hate to see so many 2-wheels recumbents cease production

What recumbents mean for you?
For me the recumbent is an evolution long needed. There are many sporting / recreational products that have seen incredible evolution over decades. However, bicycling seems to be stuck in a fixed design. We know the upright bicycle design evolved from a ‘Draise’ and was never meant for rider comfort or ergonomic efficiency. Outside of recumbents, bicycle evolution is still stuck in that upright design.

Can you remember when did you see a recumbent for the first time?
I remember seeing an article of the Avatar 2000 in a ‘Popular Science’ magazine in the late 1970’s. Then the Avatar being ridden in the 1983 movie, ‘Brainstorm’.

What was your first recumbent?
In 1991 I bought an Turner frameset and built it up. It was a simple short wheelbase based on the ‘Hypercycle’ design.

Do you prefer trikes or two-wheelers and why?
I’ve spent most of my miles on a variety of 2-wheel recumbents. However, I now ride trikes 70% of the time. A couple of years back I had a head injury that left me with occasional balance problems. But trikes are also a lot of fun.

Which bike do you ride now?
I have a variety of 2 and 3 wheel recumbents. Also I just purchased a new TerraTrike Rambler 2.0

What do you think about all the e-assist boom we have around us now?
I do not personally use e-assist but if it gets more people out riding, it is a good thing. Perhaps e-assist is in my future.

Where is your favorite place to ride?
We have a lot of great places to ride in the Denver area and Colorado overall. I’m still looking for my favorite local ride. 

And the most unforgettable ride? 
So many… But a recumbent tour of the Pacific Coast from Canada to California was the best. We carried all our gear and camped most fo the ride.

How do you think recumbents will evolve in the next 5 or 10 years?
I’m not sure which direction it could go. But I would like to see the 2-wheel recumbent market make a comeback. In recent years trikes are dominating the market, which is not a bad thing, but I hate to see so many y 2-wheels recumbents cease production.

What is your other hobby besides recumbents? Do you even consider recumbents as a hobby?
I spent many years as a long distance touring motorcyclist and scooterist, but gave that up. I’m looking for a new hobby.
I spent many years within the sales and production side of recumbents, but now, it is a hobby for me. I also enjoy boondock / off-grid camping in Colorado during Summer and New Mexico, Arizona during Winter months with my Aliner Ranger camper. Also, I am learning to play a ukulele.


Anything else you would like to tell our readers?
To be a successful recumbent rider it is important to not be afraid of looking or being different. 

BJ Straas - seat repairs

BJ Strass

Year of birth: Aging Baby Boomer
Residence: Denver (area), Colorado USA
Education: BS in Industrial Technology
Job: Semi retired
Bike(s): BikeE AT, Lightfoot Ranger, ICE Adventure, TerraTrike Rambler, Trident Stowaway, Burley Koosah, Boda Boda cargo bike.
Motto: “I seldom end up where I wanted to go, but almost always end up where I need to be.” – Douglas Adams
Web: Recumbent Seat Fix – https://recumbentseatfix.weebly.com