[CR]Re: (Cr) trikes

(Example: Bike Shops)

From: <CYCLESTORE@aol.com>
Date: Tue, 22 Feb 2005 09:16:45 EST
To: classicrendezvous@bikelist.org
cc: CYCLESTORE@aol.com
Subject: [CR]Re: (Cr) trikes

In a message dated 2/21/05 10:22:23 PM, classicrendezvous-request@bikelist.org writes:

<< Doug asked: "I'm sure there is/was a reason for the design and production of lightweight tricycles...what is/was it? I've seen the new "pedicabs" in San Diego, but the Longstaff etc doesn't seem to be designed for a commercial use."

I suppose they were originally developed because they can be ridden without needing to balance yourself. At slow speeds this is indeed the case, but to ride a trike at high speeds is quite a bit more complex than riding a single. Just ride behind a trike and you will understand what I mean. As far as the reason that they are still around today is because as Mick correctly pointed out, they are an absolute hoot to ride.

I started riding trikes 25 years ago during the snow-filled winters in Canada's capital, Ottawa. As the list-members from Ottawa can attest, the winters are not terribly friendly and the road conditions can change incredibly much in a short time. The trike was therefore a way to know that I could always get home. You can ride whether there is black ice, slush, snow or clean roads. We even held races on the Rideau Canal and Dow's Lake, which any Ottawan will gladly tell you are part of the longest skating rink in the world.

Today I ride it because it is fun and riding one well gives me greater satisfaction than riding a single.

-- Steven Maasland >>


I think English lightweight tricycles are a peculiar thing. They seemed to have been introduced shortly after bicycles became practical in the Hi-Wheel days. There are many charming pictures of Victorian era tricyclists often in large hoop skirts.

Some writings of the era my have hinted at a little class warfare. Cyclists were common, ordinary folk; though during some years a good bicycle could cost a years worth of workman's wages in some eras.

The Tricycle was meant for Royalty, military, doctors and lawyers and politicians; and other gentile society.

Later the Tricycle became a cult item with a high point of popularity during the 1930s in the UK. Races, rallies and events are still held regularly but are not common by most standards. Road records sit column by column with bicycle records, ditto for tandem trikes. I'm not sure balance on trikes was a major issue for most though it is an obvious advantage a trike is hard to ride on uneven surfaces.

There is an excellent book I got through the CTC; "Tricycle by Choice" or something like that.

Remember tricyclists tell better jokes, earn more money and are generally more pleasant folk than bicyclists.

Yours in Cycling,

Gilbert Anderson

North Road Bicycle Company

519 W. North St.

Raleigh, NC 27603


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