archival and resource material for human powered recumbent tricycles

Only a mile?

Speed and distance on a tricycle is profoundly different than speed and distance in the traditional transportation modes of affluent first-world countries, namely petroleum powered automobiles. On a trike, miles are not aspects of the trip that blow by as indifferent blurred visions outside of glass windows, not simply progress markers mentally dulled by the extreme speed of climate controlled convenience. Only a mile? Sixty miles every hour? Five hundred miles each day? Only a mile!

Well, on a human powered recumbent tadpole tricycle, a mile is a thing of beauty, a long and intimate mingling with the natural world not even remotely possible for the steel box dwellers from the land of modern expectations. Indeed, a mile is a memorable place in time for the overland triker, often experienced on challenging ascents as personal struggles upon the landscape, where blades of grass, fields of flowers, and whispering pines gently swaying in the wind remind the three wheeled nomad of the connections of all life on our tiny fragile planet. Sixty miles in one day? Quite an achievement!

There is the sound of the triker’s breath, the noise of the chain sliding through the tube, and the sights of nature in every plane and angle of vision. A journey through overland territories teaches the tired triangular traveler what a mile truly is. Trike phantoms are humbled by every mile that passes beneath their trio of tires. Each mile, only a mile, is a small victory of sorts as the journey, the adventure, the odyssey unfolds slowly in a manner invisible to humans powered by petroleum.

Only a mile, you ask? Any seasoned trike gypsy knows very well what a mile is, and knows to never take one for granted. Each and every mile tells a story, holds an entire epic adventure within its 5,280 feet. Yes, it may be only another dull blurred highway marker for those in the boxes, but for us on the tricycles, it is what life is all about.

loaded trike 43Each mile is a memorable achievement for the overland triker.


5 responses

  1. daytriker

    Hi Steve, Here’s an interesting comparison for you –
    What takes a day on a Trike takes a hour in a car.
    What takes a day in a car takes an hour on a passenger jet.
    Of course that doesn’t take into account the two hour drive to the airport & the two hours wasted being their early to get through security.

    October 29, 2013 at 9:49 pm

  2. Chris

    Every mile on a trike is a life affirming action. I normally take a week to journey to our capital city when riding and a day when driving – about 700 kilometres. I spend about $150 on diesel, when I ride I spend about $20 on food and liquid refreshments( I only drink beer for the carbohydrates).

    October 29, 2013 at 11:14 pm

  3. Dave the Dolan Fossil

    Well spoken Steve. Maybe we’ll meet on the road someday..

    October 30, 2013 at 12:03 am

  4. …and what takes an hour on a trike, takes only 40 min on a two wheel recumbent high racer!

    October 30, 2013 at 7:51 am

  5. Not only that, when you’re riding on a trike. You have all of the wonderful things that you can exeperience along the way. Such as finding out about the “mom and pop” resteraunt. Or the little church in middle of nowhere, that just has that special presence about it. When travelling by car, you pass right by the special places. And, and when in the skies you don’t have anything but open skies. Yes, open skies are great. But, you can’t ride the open skies.

    October 30, 2013 at 8:43 pm