It is really amazing to me that every time I go out for a ride, no matter where I am I get stupid comments from people about my trike. There are some people who are genuienly interested in 1. Why I ride a trike and 2. How the backend of the trike is actually built. Those are the questions and comments I love to hear about and am quite happy to answer them.
But today I was out on a ride with some fabulous people Hannah MacDougall another Para-cyclist, Lara Davenport – Olympic Swimmer, Justine Curline – Rower and friends of Hannah’s, Lois and Paul with Lois’ brother Ian, whom she met in Italy riding in the mountains. We all gathered today in Camberwell and headed out to the Dandenong’s. I had to do a 2.5-3 hour ride so it was great to have the company and it was challenging as we did the 7km climb up to Sassafrass at about 4- 5% gradient. The area is beautiful and you really feel like you are in the country as you climb through the trees and the smell is fantastic, major eucalyptus! There aren’t many cars as it is a rode used by a lot of cyclists and this morning was no exception with groups of riders heading up.
Most of the riders are extremely supportive, but then you get the odd comment like this morning’s “Do you go faster with 3 wheels!”, as he was speeding past me! Well actually no as you can see you are faster than me! Then “If I stand on the back (on my safety bar) do you think it will help?” Seriously??? I know they think they are being funny but as I’m about 5km into the climb and obviously breathing hard, do these people think these comments help? Not really, but I just have to remind myself that people seem to think that riding the trike would be easier than riding 2 wheels.
Believe it or not it is really hard to ride a trike. There are a few things that people don’t take into account and you have to forget everything you know about riding two wheels and re-learn how to ride three wheels. First – on a trike you never ride straight up and down. With two wheels it doesn’t matter what the camber of the road is like but on 3 wheels you have to counter balance the camber. Second – the back wheels are fixed and so going around a corner no matter how sharp or not it is, you don’t lean into the turn, you have to actually turn the handle bars and try to put your butt off the side of the seat. Third – with 3 wheels on camber the front wheel always wants to go to the lower side of the road, so you are constantly fighting with the front of the frame to stay out of the gutter. Fourth – it weighs much more than those slick 7kg bikes that were passing me going up that hill! And finally Fifth – if you stand to climb you can’t move the frame from side to side, it is like standing up on a spin bike, so your core muscles had better be good! I have been riding a trike for just over 2 years now and I am still learning.
I have had a couple of people try riding my trike, really good riders and they will tell you how hard it is to ride! So I am happy to answer any questions you may have if you see me on the road, but you know I am over the comments like the last one this morning by an idiot hanging out the window of a ute yelling “Taking the F&*!%#g training wheels off!” They aren’t training wheels people, they are there for a reason!
I feel much better now that I have had my rant. Hope the rest of your Sunday is great!