Tandem Trike

First ride out on the tandem trike,
was slightly scary,
but at least the day was mild and dry
and the sun shone, mostly.

The boss has been fascinated with tandems tricycles for some time and when he recently saw this one for sale he couldn’t resist. He even part-exchange two of his various classic solo bikes for it. When we tried it out briefly before purchase is was very scary – you would expect a tricycle to feel safer than a bicycle as it can’t fall over (or can it?). However a tricycle handles completely differently to a bicycle, for a start it doesn’t lean over when you round a bend and if you swerve to avoid potholes or bumps you can end up veering all over the road (as we did).

Since we got it home he has spent some time fiddling with it, changing the front handle bars and sorting out a few minor problems with the lights and gears etc. It also now sports a magnificent wicker picnic basket on the rack at the back. So today he decided it was time to try it out around our local roads. We managed about 19 miles, slightly scary but I have to say an improvement on our initial try-out. He seems to have got the hang of the steering now but I can see very little over his shoulders so an improvement in communication about what hazards might be ahead that will cause him to take avoiding action would be helpful.

Riding it is strange in some ways, you have to lean your body into a bend rather than lean the bicycle and there is no need to put you foot down at junctions or when you come to a stop – indeed I was advised by the chap who sold it to us not to do so at all as you risk the back wheels running into you, but putting your foot down is so ingrained it is hard to stop yourself. What worries me is it might become so habitual I might forget to put my foot down when riding the bicycle tandems or if I’m out on a sole bike!

As to whether or not a tricycle can fall over – apparently it can. If you corner too fast and don’t lean your weight sufficiently onto the inside back wheel it may come off the ground and if it does that too far it may tip you off into the road. One thing I recently read suggested that the stoker (me, at the back) should hold the handlebar on the side into the bend with one hand, lean into the bend, hold the back of the saddle with the other hand and hook the outside leg round the cross-bar; contortionist or what? I sincerely hope we will never be going fast enough to need to do this.


5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jules
    Jan 30, 2023 @ 17:53:24

    I’ve seen adult trykes… but this is something new.
    Continued success with it. And do be careful!


  2. elaine patricia
    Jan 31, 2023 @ 11:05:44

    This all sounds like fun Libby


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