archival and resource material for human powered recumbent tricycles

The Journey that Never Was …

One year ago, on October 15, 2015, I was supposed to be pedaling an ICE Full Fat trike over 400 miles across the notorious Mojave Desert in southern California. Things didn’t quite work out on this expedition however, as freak planetary water events stepped in, and reformed the landscape so that even fat-tire tricycles could not successfully navigate the terrain (if the rider wanted to emerge alive, that is). Such is life, an ongoing and unknowable adventure every day we awaken!

Read and view the storm devastation aftermath HERE.

Death Valley had many areas like shown below after this storm surge:

death-valley-flood-damage-2015 flood-death-valley


3 responses

  1. ED Wade

    Hey trike hobo Steve

    Thank you for the update and education on Death Valley you delivered. I enjoyed your post.

    Still working on getting the right trike for me. I’m leaning toward a Ti-Fly 26 with 18 Pinon and some off road features, this trike seems to have good traction, clearance and doable suspension, bit heavy though (53 lb with Pinon). Will see, most likely around Feb.2017.

    Wishing you and your family well, see ya…


    October 15, 2016 at 7:54 am

  2. armadillozack

    So are you planing another trip out to the desert, or you just reminding us of what had happened there Hobo..? Because I am curious as to how many people will repeat their goals after failure of first and second tries at the goal of their choice…? I have yet to finish my trailer but once I get past the repairs I need to do on my house because of hurricane Mathew, I will be settling down to work again on my trailer project for my trip to the Keys… I have not been detoured as of yet, and the only thing that may get in my way is the Great Everglades Challenge which I intend to take part in as well in early spring of 2017…! But I hear a lot about folks who have taken on challenges for them selves and had to abandon their goal at some point only to make another attempt the following year… And then there are those who know that the goal of their choosing is just to much for them and need to drop out of the running…! So will you be reattempting your crossing of the Mojave Desert or is that something you are going to chalk off your list of trike treks…? Enquireing minds want know…!
    Armadillo Zack

    October 16, 2016 at 8:30 pm

  3. trike hobo

    Howdy Zack,

    Well, first off, in my philosophy of life, I do not see what most folks refer to as failures. This is especially true for those who challenge the limits of what the masses see as perilous or impossible. We all succeed at these challenging endeavors, whether we accomplish our initial goal or not. Total success comes in the form of genuinely setting out on a passionate journey, and is not at all dependent upon reaching an arbitrary end-objective. On some treks, I achieve the total goal as initially envisioned, and on others I do not. Look at the ultra-extreme trike adventurers like Maria Leijerstam, Jan Ždánský, and Matt Galat for examples. Maria made her distance to the South Pole, but had to remove her heavy cargo panniers at one point for her support crew to pick up. Did she fail? No – she was successful, just in a manner not previously envisioned. Jan risked his life out on frozen Lake Baikal in southern Siberia for a lengthwise crossing, but warm conditions, deep snow, and an earthquake changed the plans. Did he fail? No – he was successful, just in a manner not previously envisioned. Matt has been valiantly attempting to pedal his trike around the entire planet, but circumstances have, and still are, modifying his original vision. Did he fail? No – because even if he does not achieve the circumnavigation of Earth, he will never be with those who know neither victory nor defeat. There is no failure for those who attempt great things, always only success, even if it arrives in a different form. In my case with the Mojave Traverse, severe weather events destroyed many paved and dirt roads in the desert, particularly in Death Valley and the Mojave National Preserve, both areas where my route crossed – it would not have been physically possible to pedal the Full Fat through the north/south length of Death Valley after the destructive flash flooding annihilated significant portions of my route.

    Remember what Teddy Roosevelt once said in 1910, an inspiring thought that always has helped me in all my lifelong adventures:

    “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

    Teddy mentions the word fail, but clearly by his thought, it can be realized that he did not see one who dares greatly as a failure, regardless of how things turned out. Fail is a word that people understand and freely use. Most of those who use it are also not among those who attempt challenging perilous goals. Nuf’ said …

    Regarding whether I will cross the Mojave Desert on my fatrike as planned in 2015, I have no current plans to do so. This arises out of the fact that I live more than 800 miles away, and to reach the departure point in itself is a daunting task (as I did in 2011 on another trike). The Mojave crossing (about 410 miles of rugged terrain), is challenging enough in its own right that my original idea was to start fresh. If I pedal to the start point, I would have to take a break of a few days to prepare myself at Big Pine, California. Last year, I was able to find a friend who happened to be driving south in a small SUV, and he agreed to give me a lift to Big Pine. Another factor is that there are lifetimes of wonderful terrain right near where I live, little of which I have deeply explored yet, and I truly do wish to start exploring it on the fatrike. I have spent much of my life exploring most nooks and crannies of the Mojave, so new landscapes are fine with me. If another capable fatriker wished to cross the Mojave, and invited me along, I might consider another attempt, but the trip is a considerable challenge to life on many levels, so it would have to be planned meticulously, even with two people.

    Well, I guess that answer is long enough, huh? Remember Zack, that if you initiate a grand trek on your fatquad, you are successful the moment you put it in motion! There is no failure. Just the fact that you plan it and attempt it puts you in a class of adventurers that few will ever enter. Success comes in many forms, not all of which are initially envisioned. Failure is not a word true adventurers use.

    Thanks for giving me the chance at expressing some thoughts! Trike-On my friend …


    October 19, 2016 at 9:35 am