archival and resource material for human powered recumbent tricycles

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:


The Sun City Trikers (left to right) are:

Will Baird (Silver OTrike), Gary Null (Greenspeed,, 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: 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


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

* * * * *

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 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: