archival and resource material for human powered recumbent tricycles

Only a Mile?

Speed and distance on a tricycle is profoundly different than speed and distance in the traditional transportation modes of affluent first-world countries, namely petroleum powered automobiles. On a trike, miles are not aspects of the trip that blow by as indifferent blurred visions outside of glass windows, not simply progress markers mentally dulled by the extreme speed of climate controlled convenience. Only a mile? Sixty miles every hour? Five hundred miles each day? Only a mile!

loaded trike 43Well, on a human powered recumbent tadpole tricycle, a mile is a thing of beauty, a long and intimate mingling with the natural world not even remotely possible for the steel box dwellers from the land of modern expectations. Indeed, a mile is a memorable place in time for the overland triker, often experienced on challenging ascents as personal struggles upon the landscape, where blades of grass, fields of flowers, and whispering pines gently swaying in the wind remind the three wheeled nomad of the connections of all life on our tiny fragile planet. Sixty miles in one day? Quite an achievement!

There is the sound of the triker’s breath, the noise of the chain sliding through the tube, and the sights of nature in every plane and angle of vision. A journey through overland territories teaches the tired triangular traveler what a mile truly is. Trike phantoms are humbled by every mile that passes beneath their trio of tires. Each mile, only a mile, is a small victory of sorts as the journey, the adventure, the odyssey unfolds slowly in a manner invisible to humans powered by petroleum.

Only a mile, you ask? Any seasoned trike gypsy knows very well what a mile is, and knows to never take one for granted. Each and every mile tells a story, holds an entire epic adventure within its 5,280 feet. Yes, it may be only another dull blurred highway marker for those in the boxes, but for us on the tricycles, it is what life is all about.

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