A Day Out on Three Wheels

Posted: February 14, 2015 in Cycling, Tricycle
Tags: , , , , ,

Plans had been laid and dates set. It was a simple plan, I meet up with a man called Mark, he takes me to a café were we meet other members of the tricycle association and then a whole bunch of three wheelers head off into the distance. I would be perched on the back of a tandem trike (or long-barrow as it seemed to be referred to) up until the lunch break when I would have an opportunity to try and pilot a solo trike. It seemed all very simple, I like simple.

The beast was extracted from the car in a side street, I’d never seen one before and it certainly was a marvel of engineering. Mark expertly assembled it whilst I looked on a little bit bewildered, which is my default position in these circumstances. I was to sit on the back, which on this machine meant that I had control of the gears. I wasn’t too sure that I could handle the responsibility. I’ve never been on a tandem before so this was a whole new thing. We set off to the café on a proving run. Lean into the corners was the only instruction. It felt odd. It wasn’t at all like being on a bicycle. Leaning was met with resistance, the thing was happy going in a straight line but any small imperfection in the road and it would choose another path and never the one needed. These things are evil, I like that.

Trikes at the cafe

Trikes at the Cafe

We arrived at the right Café, it was easy to tell, there were trikes standing outside. Inside there were people in bike gear ordering tea and breakfast, it’s always best to be fuelled up before a ride and this café had a lot of temptation on the menu. I was introduced to everyone and I instantly forgot all their names, it’s a bad habit.

Once appetites were appeased we all set off, a whole bunch of tricycles wending their way through country lanes. There must be a collective noun for this but I’ve no idea what. Slowly I got used to how the long barrow moved and what was needed to persuade it to go in the intended direction. Leaning into the turns was the main thing, keeping the wheels on the ground. It was so different to riding a bike and for me it required thinking and concentration. Mark happily regaled me with tales of other people getting it wrong and ending up in ditches, hedges, fields, gardens. These things are really evil; I like them even more.

Trikes, thousands of them, as far as the eye can see

There must be a collective noun for a collection of trikes travelling together

After a bit of silliness and racing we ended up at a pub, by all accounts this is the natural lunchtime habitat for a tricyclist. It was a very nice little pub that served beer and food in reasonable quantities. I tend to prefer quantity of quality when it comes to eating whilst cycling. Eventually the question I had been anticipating was placed:

“would you like to have a go on one?”

“Oh, yes!” I replied, this was after all the whole purpose of this escapade.

It may look passive but it's plotting to kill me

The first solo trike I rode

People gathered, preparations were made, a saddle was raised and I perched myself on the borrowed machine. I thought uphill would be a good move so off I went, there was no point going too slowly so I pushed it a bit. It was so much fun. Straight lines done, next was a turn in the road to head down the hill; I lent well into the turn and managed to low speed turn without too much drama, even if the thing wanted to take me into the curb. Now it was downhill past the pub. A small crowd had gathered, unbeknownst to me it is traditional for one to make a complete tit of themselves on their first run. I may have disappointed the assembled crowd. Just round the corner and out of sight though the trike bit back and took me into the woods. I love the evil machines.

Back at Marks house over a cup of tea, he asked if I would like to borrow one of his trikes to practice on. I’m now the guardian of a Higgins Ultralight Tricycle.

  1. […] since my first tentative turning of the peddles on a Trike so it seemed fitting to return to the scene of the crime for the food and cake fest that is the Viper Run. This time I would be having one last ride on the […]


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