Sun City Trikers

Alan Jansen rides his HP Velotechnik Scorpion FS. Visit Alan’s photography studio HERE.

After the Coast to Cactus Tricycle Expedition, I ended up in Apple Valley, California, and more specifically in a subdivision of 1200 homes called Sun City. I already knew that Will Baird and Gary Null, both residents here, had human powered recumbent tadpole tricycles, but was surprised to learn on this visit that there are more folks with these bizarre three-wheeled machines. For the population density in this close knit retirement community, the percentage of tadpole trikers is exceptionally high. Meet these fine folks here!

Photos and movies of the high desert’s elite trike corps:

MEET THE SUN CITY TRIKERS IN THIS MOVIE: 

The Sun City Trikers (left to right) are:

Will Baird (Silver OTrike), Gary Null (Greenspeed, glnull@verizon.net), Alan Jansen (HP Velotechnik Scoprion FS, website), Willow Wolf (TerraTrike Rover, webpage), Hugh McNeese (ICE Sprint FS), and Sheryl McNeese (ICE Adventure FS)

HP Velotechnik Scorpion FS, ICE Qnt, TerraTrike Rover

The Sun City Trikers take a wintry December ride: 

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Brigid Jansen, the newest member, on her Greenspeed

The Sun City Trikers ride again: 

Steve and Willow riding their trikes in the Sun City subdivision of Apple Valley

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Will Baird is one of the Sun City Trikers. Here is some information about him:

Will Baird
T1X Suspended Trike, like those sold on ActionBent
Age: 67
Location: Apple Valley, California, United States

I have ridden this trike over 1,000 miles since February 2009. It is a T1X, suspended trike like the ones sold on actionbent.com. It comes with: a shock absorber, 20 inch front wheels, 26 inch back wheel, composite seat, fenders, and a luggage rack. 3 x 8 gears. It required some assembly. A friend and I put it together in a day.
I have added: a mesh (Ventiseat) set, a rack for my security gate opener and a Garmin Navigation Unit, an Otivia cargo trunk on top of the luggage rack (purchased from Steve Greene), Power Grips on the pedals, and a flag.

Things I have learned:

1) The Power Grips, or something like them, to keep your feet on the pedals are very important. If a foot comes off (might happen if you hit a bump) it can hit the ground while you are moving and your leg can be injured as your foot goes under the trike.
2) I use a towel to put under the Ventiseat to support my lumbar area. I found that after a few hundred miles my lower back was tight and my feet got numb after a few miles. The hand towel under the Ventiseat really helped those problems.
3) The Garmin is great. Not for navigation, but for accurate trip info. You can set it so you can view you current speed, direction, distance traveled, top speed, and average speed.
4) Make sure your brakes are adjusted so that there is equal pressure on each front disc. If one stops faster than the other it could cause you to turn sharply and tip over.
5) Proper inflation of the tires makes a lot of difference in the performance of the trike.
6) I like to carry a walking cane with me at all times. Although I don’t need it for walking it can be handy if you encounter an aggressive dog or person along your way.
7) Most rear view mirrors are designed for bicycles and do not fit well on my trike. The best thing I have found is a little mirror that fits my sunglasses. It works great and by turning my head a little I have better coverage of the space behind me than a mirror can provide.
8) I have found that the trike is a great way to exercise the dog. My dog loves to go with me on rides. He gets great exercise in a short period of time. If you try this make sure to go slow at first. Always make sure that you do not hold on to the steering handle with the hand that is holding the leash.
9) A small velcro strap near the hand brake make a good emergency brake for parking your trike.

Hugh and Sheryl pick up their ICE trikes at BentUp Cycles in North Holllywood:

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12 Responses to Sun City Trikers

  1. Greg says:

    It’s great to see a group of trikers from a neighborhood. The one thing I miss is not having other trikers to ride and share ideas with in my local vicinity (Vancouver, WA).

    I would like to hear about the equipment they have, where they have mounted it and how they have mounted it.

  2. Glenn says:

    Excellent! I love it when I see other trike pilots who get to ride together! Always more fun that way!

  3. John says:

    It’s a Small World. The Mojave Desert is a large area but a small place. I’m a close neighbor searching for fellow trike riders. I am on the short list for purchase of a trike within the the next several months….

  4. Steve says:

    Hi John,

    Leave a comment here with contact info for the Sun City bunch if you wish. Perhaps you can meet up with them (Will, Gary, Alan, Hugh, Cheryl, and Willow)

    Steve

  5. John says:

    When I get my trike…I’ll send you guys a post…maybe we can get together. I’m out in the Helendale/Silverlakes area. Got any suggestions on trikes? So far it’s the Catrike-Expedition. Kate at Bent-Up Cycles has got my attention.

  6. Steve says:

    Hi again John,
    The Catrike Expedition was my original choice back in 2009 that I intended to ride on the Death Valley Tricycle Expedition. But for an eleventh hour private party sale locally of a 2007 ICE Qnt (photos of which you’ll find all over this website), I would now be a Catrike Pilot. The rest is history, and I am an ICEman for the duration. Clearly, I am somewhat biased, but I do highly recommend all ICE products. Catrike is also an excellent choice. If suspension is not an issue for you, Catrike will do an admirable job for you. It is one of the world’s most popular and dependable trikes, ridden by untold thousands of enthusiasts. Kate is a great gal, and will steer you in the right direction. Greenspeed has a new model called the Magnum that might be worthy of your consideration also. But then again, don’t forget to check into the Azub, Challenge, TerraTrike, HP Velotechnik, and … well, as you can see, there are so many outstanding choices that it’s mighty difficult to pick what would work best for you. Did you happen to attend Charles Coyne’s Recumbent Cycle Convention at the LA County Fairplex last month? Many of the major brand trikes were there for test demo rides, the absolute best method for determining what you want. Keep the Sun City Trikers posted, and I am sure they will be agreeable to riding with you. I’ll be leaving back for Oregon the second week of December, but they’ll all still be here, ready to TRIKE ON!

    Steve

  7. John says:

    Steve

    Thanks for the experienced words of a ICEman. I made the plunge and put a deposit on an Catrike Expedition. I am looking forward to being a Catrike Pilot. It will take a little time to get the order finalized and have the trike sent in from Florida. I am sure it will be worth the wait. Last week and this week I made several trips to see Kate at Bent-Up Cycles. I rode half a dozen trikes and feel the Expedition will serve my needs. The cat feels right. The only issue is…I will need to develop some core strength and get rid of some gut to get out of the trike. I am sure Expedition rides will get me into shape to overcome my couch potato stature. One additional note–I signed up for the Tour de Cure-Long Beach. I’ll have several months to get everything in order–me included. Even though I only signed up for 30 miles…It will be a start. I should be taking delivery by the end of the year…Take care.

    John

  8. John says:

    Tomorrow, I’m finally picking up my Catrike Expedition. It will be great. Maybe I can hookup with the Sun City Trikers, since I live out in the same tumbleweed territory. Have a good new year…hope to put some miles on the trike.

  9. joyce richardson says:

    Hi
    I am also in the Helendale area.
    Would like to meet others who have recumbents in the area.

    THere are two of us so far.

    WOuld love to hear from you and others.
    Anyone know how to find the Sun City trikes meeting?

    edselblimp@gmail.com

  10. John Taggart says:

    I live in Helendale and ride with my wife around North and South Lakes, plus other local areas…It is my understanding Sun City, Apple Valley is a closed community and access is restricted to home owners in that area. Never ridden with the Sun City Trikers…

  11. Steve says:

    Hello Joyce and John. Yes, the Sun City subdivision is a gated community, thus requires someone inside to allow entrance. In the article on this page, there is an email address listed for one of the trikers named Gary Null. You can email him and get acquainted, and perhaps set up a ride. The last I heard, they were meeting on Sundays around 2PM for a local ride, which may include areas outside the residential community. Here is Gary’s email: glnull@verizon.net. Also, Alan Jensen is very active in the group, and has taken a leading role from what I read. He has a photography website through which you might contact him. Alan is exceptionally enthusiastic, and will gladly engage in all manner of trike camaraderie. Here is his photo website: http://www.jansenphoto.biz/, and here is his email address: alanjansen515@gmail.com.

  12. John Taggart says:

    I already contacted Alan Jensen…he said the community is closed to outsiders??

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