archival and resource material for human powered recumbent tricycles

Tricycle Power on the road

Some think that recumbent tricycle riders are as good as dead out on the open highways of our rural road systems. My personal experience reveals another vision on the lonely roads across the vast countrysides, a vision of power. How does a seven foot, 35 pound tricycle have this effect on a 34 foot, 27,000 pound behemoth? It occurs because the colossal monster is operated by a human with a brain and compassion, not to mention the driver’s desire to avoid costly lawsuits and criminal action should he strike you. Here is reality:

Death Valley Towne Pass Ascent2009: pedaling up Towne Pass from the floor of Death Valley, from sea level to a 4,963 foot summit, over the distance of 17 miles, required nearly 8 hours pulling a trailer. No picnic!


6 responses

  1. Dave Beedon

    The lowly trike subdues the mighty RV!

    December 22, 2014 at 1:24 pm

  2. Glen McWilliams

    Why are you riding on the wrong side of the road?

    December 29, 2014 at 7:25 pm

  3. Glen McWilliams

    Sorry, I just looked again. You are indeed on the right, left, side of the road. On re-looking at the picture I realized that I was wrong in my first impression of the situation. BTW, the picture is an excellent example of the phenomenon of larger vehicles giving extra room to trike riders.
    Also, I fear that you were able to ride up that incline in half the time it would take me. Congratulations’ on making it!!

    December 29, 2014 at 7:31 pm

  4. Hi Glen,

    Well, I suppose it’s the wrong side of the road for some countries. That photo was taken by Jack Freer, who came along for the fun of it, except he was in a Jeep. Jack captured the image with a long telephoto lens, thus the compression of the distant floor of Death Valley. It is indeed a very LONG and STEEP haul up that monster pass. That ride was my first overland journey on a trike, and the miserable trailer ultimately only served to slow me way down, while making my pedaling many times more difficult due to the extra (and unnecessary) weight – experience is the best teacher. It would be fun to ride the pass again on the Catrike 700 to compare then versus now, heavy versus light, experienced versus inexperienced. See ya …


    December 30, 2014 at 11:00 am

  5. Chris

    The ride up is worth the roll down. In 5 years of touring I have never had a negative experience with a motorist, truck driver or motorcyclist. In fact most other road users are enthusiastic in their encouragement.

    December 30, 2014 at 6:11 pm

  6. Your observation is precisely what I have always found Chris! Only road time brings this understanding, as the beginning triker sees it as counter-intuitive. Thanks for sharing!

    January 2, 2015 at 9:38 am