Triker Bob (Catrike Speed)
Hello. My name is Bob Shaver, 62 years old, a lifelong road bike rider, recently converted to trikes. I ride a Catrike Speed to work every day, and have not missed a day of riding due to weather since since I got the trike several years ago. I ride in rain, fog, snow, wind, and heat, summer and winter. I only miss riding the trike if I am sick, or have an unexpected flat tire.
It all began when I saw a trike in downtown Boise several years ago, and immediately knew that was the platform that would work as an all weather vehicle. I was recovering from a back incident which had taken me to the brink of surgery, but opted to work through it rather than risk the surgery. Suddenly after years of riding an upright, I did not trust myself to not fall down and hurt my back again. I saved for quite a while, and bought the Speed just as I finished restoring my 1973 Motobecane road bike.
The Catrike was so fun to ride, I never got on the Motobecane again. Now with the back doing fine and pain free, I only ride the classic Motobecane if I have a flat tire on the Catrike.
To the stock Catrike Speed I have added an Arizona Whip lighted flagpole. This is made by a client of my patent law practice, for use by dune buggies. I figured if it would work for dune buggies, it would work for trikes, and it has. It has 10 LEDS on the front side, and 10 blinking LEDS, yellow and red, on the back side. All my neighbors and friends have told me the lights make me look like a UFO at night. Well, that is precisely what I want! The trike really shows up!
As a patent attorney in Boise Idaho, I get to see some cool inventions, and some of them, like the lighted flagpole, work well for the trike. Another one is an LED flashlight that puts out an intense 240 lumens of light. It runs on rechargable batteries, and each charges is good for about 4 hours of light. I have one now on the Speed, with a yellow lens pointing backwards, and one with a white light pointing forward. Besides being a great trike light, it’s a great flashlight for around the house and backpacking. It can easily light up the side of a mountain 100 yards away.
Another innovation on the trike is a storage tube under the seat. I wanted to get rid of the bulky rack and panniers that made the Catrike look like a truck, and thought to use the space under the seat for some kind of storage. Thinking first of a PVC pipe, I ran across something far lighter: a blueprint tube. It is super light, and has a screw on cap so its totally waterproof. It is wide enough to carry the office mail, a raincoat and rain pants, and other extra gear.
A final addition is a larger chainring on the front, a 56 tooth that gives me a little more top end speed. It’s only useful on downhills however, or level with no headwind, but when it works, it works great!
The trike is not particularly fast compared to a road bike, but I have ridden the Catrike in the bike portion of one triathlon, and on a 60 mile group ride. In the triathlon, my team mate (my wife) posted a good time in the swim, and the bike riders lining up to start riding were flabbergasted that a trike was getting on the road before them. They were fairly quivering in disbelief as I made my way through the crowd to the start line as my start time was called, carrying the trike. Not to worry, lots of them passed me later in the bike ride. But when I passed a racer type bike rider, he could not help but mention that they had just been passed by a 60 year old on a tricycle. As my son would say, BURN!
I maintain these blogs about my passions: the outdoors, bicycle technology, and the history of technology, at these sides:
2008 Catrike Speed
Modifications: upgraded bearings, added fairing for winter riding, studded rear tire in winter, gear storage tube under seat, tactical flashlights for lighting, clear lexan LED flagpole, Air Zound horn, 56 tooth front chainring added,
Trike riding saves me money in gas, and gives me some aerobic exercise every day. It results in me talking to many more people than I would have otherwise, as they inquire about the trike or the lights. I have taken on the mission of eradicating goat heads (a thorny weed that thrives here) from my riding route, and I have harvested about 20 garbage bags of goat head plant, with thousands of seeds, over the past two years. My route is a popular riding route, and it is nearing being goat head free.