Dispatch from the trike

The Good, The Bad, The Adventurous?

By Cathy Seckman

It’s been on my mind for a year or two, so when the opportunity came, it seemed like a good time. I traded my fourth BMW—a pretty little F800ST that I called the Blue Weenie—for a three-wheeler.

I still haven’t decided whether that’s embarrassing or not.

When I began riding on two wheels back in the ‘80s, it was considered daring and adventurous.

Riding on three wheels is considered —um—not very daring or adventurous. Besides that, I’ve gotten a couple of condescending comments that were more common back in those long-ago ‘80s.

A tree-cutter came to the house to give us an estimate, and he happened to see the trike sitting next to my husband’s Kawasaki.

“Ohhhhh,” he said in a voice usually used for precocious toddlers, “you’ve got your own ride now.”

“This is my fifth ride,” I corrected. “I’ve had my own for more than 30 years.”


A few days later, I was on the phone with an MSF instructor, asking about trike classes.

“Oh, sure, we have a program for those,” she said. “You’ll even get a motorcycle endorsement automatically if you pass the course exam.”

“I don’t need to pass the exam. I passed it in 1986.”

Again, sheesh.

Still, it’s been exciting and interesting—even a little adventurous—to experience a new form of motorcycling.

The trike feels more like a motorcycle than I expected.

I still love to put on my helmet and gloves, straddle the bike (in a manner of speaking), and head out for a ride. I love to feel the wind, shift gears with a satisfying clunk and accelerate out of a curve.

I still love being a motorcyclist.

I also really, really like coming to a stop on my 1,800-pound motorcycle and just sitting there comfortably, feet on the floorboards, with nothing for my arthritic knees to worry about.

Here are a couple of things I don’t like, and didn’t expect.

Dips in the road. Oh, dear! The first time my right rear wheel crossed a deep depression on the edge of a country road I thought I was a goner for sure. There was a fleeting vision of the bike getting pulled sideways, down, back and over into the ditch. But it didn’t happen, thank goodness.

Talking to a fellow triker I met by chance, we exchanged our views on road kill.

“Have you figured out what to do yet?” he asked.

“You mean after a few panic attacks? If I can’t get all the way around it, I put my front wheel as close to it as I can and just hope the back wheels can straddle it.”

He gave a philosophical nod.

“All you can do,” he agreed. “Doesn’t always work, though.”

“That’s when I hold my breath for a few seconds.”

“For sure.”

The trike and I accumulated a thousand miles before the first snow flew, and I already can’t wait for next spring.

Daring or not, adventurous or not, we’ll be riding the wind, just like all the other bikers.