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on tricycles and London - helen-louise
baratron
baratron
on tricycles and London
I am not the only person in my neighbourhood who rides a tricycle. There's an older guy with a walking impairment who rides a green George Longcross custom trike and parks it near Waitrose, though I haven't seen him for a while. There's a silver Pashley TR-1 that regularly parks in various places around Kingston. A few weeks ago, I saw a yellow Longcross trike parked outside Waitrose in New Malden. And there are various carts and tadpoles for the transportation of goods or small people. (Tadpoles are the kind of trike that have two wheels at the front and one at the back.)

I've wondered who owned the TR-1 for a while, because it's in good condition and seems fairly new. I almost bought one myself, except for the fact they only fold lengthways along the frame, meaning they're still too wide to be allowed on trains. Some months ago we went to Pizza Express and I parked immediately next to the silver trike, then watched it from the window. I got distracted by my starter arriving, and the TR-1 had gone by the time I looked out again. Anyway, on Tuesday I finally met the rider. She's a woman of similar size to me but a bit older. We geeked about tricycles for a few minutes and admired features of each other's machines. I'm pleased to have found out who it was.

I really need to get to some of the Tricycle Association events. Or even just the local branch of the London Cycling Campaign. Unfortunately, they meet on the second Tuesday of the month, which is also BU night. Apparently I can go & be bisexual or be a cyclist, but not both.

Oooh, I just found out about this: Hovis London Freewheel - big cycle ride through central London on roads that are being closed to traffic! It's 14km in total, but you can do as much or as little of the route as you want. It's on Sunday 23rd September, i.e. the day after Polyday, so it's perfect for all of you who aren't normally in London! Literally just decided that I'm going, does anyone want to go with me? :D

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Comments
jinian From: jinian Date: 6th September 2007 18:36 (UTC) (Link)
Wow, the Freewheel sounds great! Have fun!
aardvarkoffnord From: aardvarkoffnord Date: 6th September 2007 19:27 (UTC) (Link)
I am moving to Cambridge, which is well known for its bicycles. I am seriously considering a tricycle, mainly due to (a) I do most of the shopping, and they are better for load bearing, and (b) I have a shite sense of balance.

Any recommendations on a tricycle that is suitable for 10 mile commutes on normal roads?
baratron From: baratron Date: 6th September 2007 19:57 (UTC) (Link)
Yes, but I'd need more details. Like how tall are you, and do you require it to fold at all? And also what sort of budget you're looking at.

Tricycles are different from bikes. You need to have some sense of balance because you need to maintain the centre of balance when going round corners. (Cornering at speed on a trike involves being on only two wheels, which is something I still find hairy after riding the thing for a year). But because the tricycle remains upright by itself, the balancing is much easier. I wouldn't say anyone can ride a trike, but the fact I can means that anyone without major inner ear malfunction should be ok.

However, if you've already learned to ride a bike at some stage in your life, you may need to un-learn how to ride a bike before being confident on a trike. I definitely recommend trying one out before buying one. If I can get Richard to tidy up his workshop for long enough to fix the old trike, I'll have two, and it'll be easy for me to tell people to come here & try it. As it is, I'm happy for people to ride my tricycle on something soft like grass, but there's the issue of getting from my house to a place with grass - without something to ride on, it's a 20 minute walk.
aardvarkoffnord From: aardvarkoffnord Date: 6th September 2007 20:19 (UTC) (Link)
Firstly, I am a short-arse. I am 5'6.5 - I can hit 5'8 if I stand on tip-toe. I am a little top-heavy (very broad shoulders).

I *can* ride a bike - in fact that is what I was probably going to do. However, I am considering a trike as a serious option. Especially, as I said, I will often be carrying "stuff".

Folding is not required.

I will definately try things out - for instance, bike + trailer is also an option (but not one I prefer).
baratron From: baratron Date: 7th September 2007 00:04 (UTC) (Link)
Awesome! That makes things a lot easier. Standard 20" wheel trikes are recommended for people up to 5' 9", and taller people require 24" wheels. You'll be able to get away with the standard height, which makes it easier to find.

I have to admit to a strong fondness for Pashley - my old trike is an ancient Picador. Their tricycles are ideal for shopping, as you can get a mounted rear basket that's lockable with a padlock. You can pick up second-hand Pashleys fairly easily on eBay for around £100-300, depending on condition.

Mission make trikes that look interesting, but I don't know how good they are mechanically. They're much harder to find second-hand on eBay, though there are often dealers offering new ones for around £400-450.

I won't bother linking you to Roman Road or Longcross as they make custom trikes, starting from £1000 and going in excess of £5000.

The US company Workman has trikes that seem crazily cheap. I have considered importing one, as even after shipping and import duty it could be cheaper than one of the UK-built trikes. (sad, really). Note that you need 2 independent brakes for a tricycle to be road-legal in the UK.

Not sure whether any of these tricycle-friendly shops are near you, but worth a look.
gerwinium From: gerwinium Date: 6th September 2007 20:31 (UTC) (Link)
Signed up to the freewheel thing a few weeks ago. Do you want to meet up?
baratron From: baratron Date: 6th September 2007 22:47 (UTC) (Link)
You're reading livejournal *shock*!!

Yep, I'd love to go with you. Dunno if Richard will be around, he's being mumbly about what he's up to the next few weekends due to not really knowing himself yet. (Drama! is going on in the paintball world, again. Meh.) As it's 11am-4pm, there should be scope for doing something afterwards, too. Preferably not going to the Pizza Express in Waterloo, they've been crap the last 2 or 3 times we've been there.

I don't expect I'll get in to London until about 1pm, it's the day after Polyday after all. But that still gives 3 hours to play. If you do your scary morning person thing, you can ride around for 2 hours before meeting me/us :D
alexmc From: alexmc Date: 6th September 2007 21:13 (UTC) (Link)
> Tadpoles are the kind of trike that have two wheels at the front

I saw a motorised scooter like that yesterday. I was most shocked
judiff From: judiff Date: 6th September 2007 21:55 (UTC) (Link)
My Dad is doing the freewheel thing
(Deleted comment)
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