Sunday, 11 July 2010

Cycle or Tricycle

Because of my life style I simply don't need a car.  I make short journeys when alone and any journey I need to make that requires a car are journeys that I only make because I am going somewhere with family members anyway, and of course they do have cars.

What I did/do need is a form of transport that could get me in and around the local area.  My doctors, hairdressers, vet and nearest town are too far to walk and bus time tables never seem to be convenient for my appointments.  My Daughter lives not far away but she doesn't live on a bus route, so the only way I would have to visit her would be by walking, which takes a solid hour, or taking a taxi.  Owning and running a car for such short journeys would be such a waste of money.  Most of the time the car would sit outside doing absolutely nothing.  So for me cycling is ideal.

When I bought my tricycle I had to take a lot of light hearted ribbing from my family.  Such as - "Why do you always have to be different" - "You always have to be so eccentric" - and  "How can you go around the streets on that, how embarrassing".  You can get the picture.

But, there were several reasons I bought a tricycle and not a cycle.  Not least because I simply didn't have the confidence to stay up right safely in traffic and be able to take my hands off the handle bars to make signals without wobbling all over the place, but also because of a couple of health reasons.  I occasionally suffer from labyrinthitis, from mild to severe.  This gives me, obviously, balance problems on and off.  I also have arthritis in one of my feet which would make it very painful to put my foot down to steady myself, as I would have to, when coming to a full stop on a cycle.

So for me the tricycle is perfect.

What I didn't know at the time was also the added bonuses of riding a tricycle.  For a start it's so much easier and safer when one has to look back over their shoulder to see what is coming up behind one when about to pull out or make any turns.  Because one is stable at all times, one can take much longer to look behind than the second or two one has when riding a cycle.

I have also found that motor vehicles give me so much more room when they are over taking me.  Maybe it's because they see me as some crazy old woman and are worried I will do something stupid.  Maybe it's because they think I am disabled.  Or it could simply be that because I am a larger object they see me easier and they respect my space on the road.  But for whatever reason, it certainly makes cycling for me a more comfortable, safer and pleasurable experience.

One can also carry so much more on a 3 wheeler.  They come with an extremely large basket on the back and one can also add an extra basket on the front.  This means that they are also ideal for trips to the shops.  I have carried a whole weeks worth of shopping back from the suppermarket on mine several times.

It also makes riding up hills so much easier as there is none of the wobbling that takes place as one is going so slow fighting to get to the top that one almost comes to a stand still.  It means that one can go as slow as they like and however steep the hill, there is no having to get off and push.  In the right gear one simply peddles away and eventually will get to the top with hardly any loss of puff.

I live in a village and since I have been riding a tricycle I have also seen two other ladies riding them.  So they are becoming more popular.

They are more expensive than a lower end of the market 2 wheeled cycle, but when one thinks about how much it costs to run a car, and the years that a well looked after bike can last, one is pounds in, even with the extra expense of having a 3 wheeler.

I would advise anyone that if they have any worries at all of riding a 2 wheeler, to seriously think about buying a tricycle instead.


  1. Does that mean, then, that you chose the non-motorized trike?

  2. Yup, at this point I think it does. I do have to sell my Electrike trike first to make way for a new one. But at this point I do think the manual gear trike is my best option for my next few years of transport.

  3. Have you been able to take it for a test run, first? To check that, with the gears set appropriately, you can actually pedal back up the hill?


  4. I presume you are talking about a new manual cycle? If so then yes. A couple of weeks ago I was able to pop over to a bicycle hire shop in the New Forest and have a play with one.

    Because of the gears and because it was the right size for me, it was a great little ride.


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