New to the world of Trikes

My wife and I spent several hours with the owner (Chad) of Spin Bicycle Shop in Lansing MI yesterday test riding trikes for the first time. As long time bike riders we very impressed with the trikes and even more so with Chad. Following two knee replacement surgeries (resulting from knee injuries skiing) my wife was able to get back on her bike this spring for the first time in two years. Unfortunately, while she has no trouble walking, climbing stairs, etc. the way she described her bike riding to friends Is that she has a "hitch in her get a long." Each revolution with her right knee would kink and cause a pause in the stroke and a slap in the chain. After a couple hours on the trike yesterday she and I were "SOLD. She had no problems (pain or even discomfort) in either knee! We tested the Rambler 8 speed, The Tour II Base, and Sporster x30. We ordered two Sportster x30s and will pick them up two weeks from tomorrow. We are both "geeked." It is such a pleasure for me to see the anticipatory excitement in my wife. We begin a three week vacation in three weeks and now plan to travel the state of Michigan hitting as many trails as possible (primarily northern Michigan) on our new Terra Trikes!


  • Welcome to the Forum. Chad and the rest of the crew at Spin Bike Shop are great. They will take good care of you and your wife. And I am envious of your soon to be had Sportster x30s. I picked up my first trike (2014 Rover) a few weeks ago and had Chad & company tune it up. They have been invaluable ever since. I had my 4th joint replacement this past Monday (July 11) and can't wait till I have rehabilitated enough to ride the Rover again. This was my second shoulder replacement to go with one hip and one knee replacement. In less than a month, after a 30+ year hiatus from cycling, I rode more than 200 miles and my knees and hips have never felt better. Congratulations on your new found hobby.... er ah... maybe obsession. How sweet it is!  
  • Thank you, TrikeBirder, for the welcome.  I take it by your user name that you have interest in birds?  My wife spent most of her adult life, until about 10 years ago, as a wildlife rehabilitator with permits from the Michigan DNR and the US Fish and Wildlife Service.  In recent years she has become involved with a birdcam group called the Raptor Resource Project with a primary focus on a pair of eagles that nest near Decorah Iowa.  last month we both traveled to Decorah and spent a week there with other followers of these eagles for an annual Meet N Greet.  While there, we took our bikes, we rode a very nice trail that circumvents the town of Decorah.  This is not a rail trail, it was plotted and created from scratch, eleven miles, with some very challenging grades.  One such grade rises 150 feet in a tenth of a mile via four switchbacks.  If you every get out to the northeast part of Iowa be sure to ride this trail. It is called the Trout Run Trail.  Very beautiful. On a second note, we take delivery of our Sportster trikes this coming Monday and our very excited.  Again, thanks for the welcome, and hopefully, we can cross paths on a trail somewhere.
  • You will have to let everyone know how your new Sportsters do on that big hill. I'm afraid I'll have to get in a little better shape before I try a hill like that on my Rover! Are you and the wife thinking about doing TerraTrike's RiderFest (13 mile mostly flat course just west of Grand Rapids) on August 6th? There is more info on it elsewhere here on TerraTrike's website. If so, we will have to find a way to meet one another there.

    I just got clearance from my orthopedic surgen to ride my trike again... but not until August 6th. He really wanted me to wait a full month before riding again, but said I was 2 weeks ahead of schedule in my rehab. He warned me not to rush it any ome than that as things are "still like hamburger in there."

    Are you two in the greater Lansing area? I live in East Lansing - just 6.3 mile along the Rivertrail from Spin.
  • We live in Flint.  We also have a summer place on the Muskegon River near the town of Evart.  We do most of our riding (in the past bikes, soon to be trikes) on the many trails in northern lower Michigan.  We will be spending most of August (11th through Labor day) traveling both the northern lower  and upper peninsulas riding on many different trails. 

    We have a family reunion on the 6th, otherwise we would definitely give Riderfest a shot.  It sounds like a great day.

    Good for you on the progress following surgery.  My wife and I know well the benefits of a focused physical therapy regimen.  She was very focused on her physical therapy following both knee replacements and had a good recovery from both as a result.  She now just needs to regain her strength and conditioning in the right leg (the most recent knee replacement).

  • Welcome!  Hope you enjoy riding them as much as many of us do.  You have so much travel planned.  How are you transporting our trikes?  
  • Ford F350 crew-cab dually pickup with topper (lockable).  Chad at Spin Bicycle Shop has assured us that both trikes will fit in the enclosed bed of the truck, sandwiched one frontward and the other one backward.  We will see on Monday.  :-)  In case any bad guys try to break in to the rear end of the truck sometime, I plan to also weave a lock cable through both trikes and through the cargo brackets of the bed. 
  • @PapaSkisNTrikes
    I live in an apartment and garage my Rambler in the back of my pickup. I have a lockable camper shell and cable the trike to the bed. One other thing I've done is get a locking latch for the tailgate.

  • To paraphrase the old Batteries Plus commercial, "Yep, got that."   :-)
  • Picked up the new trikes Monday. We rode ten miles on the Lansing River Trail with two or three returns to the bike shop for fine tuning. My wife had zero pain in her knees. These Sportsters are everything we hoped they would be, even though we have yet to reach anywhere near the maximum potential designed into them. We averaged 6.6 mph with one max burst of 18 (on a down grade, of course.
  • We leave on the 13th for three weeks seeking trails in northern lower MI, as well as the UP, and possibly northern Wisconsin. Have been researching trails on and Any trail recommendations for any of those three areas would be most appreciated.
  • Work your way up to those higher speeds and longer distances.  They will come. 
  • edited August 2016
    The Hart-Montague Trail is one of my favorites. There is a dairy about half way, that serves home made ice cream, and is a great place for a break.  The bike trail was also widened and repaved late last year.  I begin at Hart, ride to the dairy and return for about 20 miles.

    The Betsie Valley Trail, another favorite, runs between Frankfort and Beulah, about 10 miles.  It runs along the Betsie River and Crystal Lake, is paved for about the first six miles and then crushed stone the last four or so miles to Beulah.  It does run East/Southeast of Beulah but is rather rough.  I like to begin at Frankfort so when I return, tired and thirsty, I can quench my thirst and have something to eat at the Storm Cloud Brewing Co.

    My favorite is the Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail.  It begins, at the South end, at a parking area at W. Voice Rd and N. Bar Lake Rd, just North of Empire.  You can begin at Empire if you want to ride on the road. The trail is paved all the way to Glen Arbor.  There are some steep, (some very), hills between the parking lot and the Dune Climb.  It is pretty level from the Dune Climb to Glen Arbor.  Cherry Republic, in Glen Arbor, is a great place for a break and lunch.

  • Wow, what a great place to live as a triker!  Too bad your season is so short unless you ride in the snow also.  I have to load my trike and travel at least 10 miles to a short trail and 25 to a longer one.  I do have highways with sidewalks near me that go for miles.  I ride them most of the time.
  • Leelanau Trail in Traverse City. Paved no steep hills
  • Charlevioux to Petoskey to Harbor Springs great trail and great lake Michigan views.
  • Wolverine to Mackinaw city
  • Thank you each for the suggestions.   We are familiar with a couple of them, particularly the Betsie Valley Trail.  We have ridden that one on our bikes for several years.  It is one of our favorites.  We usually start at the Elberta trail head, and then for a treat, eat at The Corner Pub in Beulah.  We also, just a couple weeks ago, rode the Leelanau Trail for the first time,  We began at Sutton's Bay and headed south.  Another delightful trail.  We look forward to trying some of the other suggestions, although my wife thinks that she would like to wait until next year before attempting the hills on the Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail.  :-)  
  • The heritage trail is fairly flat between cr669 and Glen . It does get hilly around Pierce stocking drive
  • edited August 2016
    How GREAT it is! We're beginning to understand Trikebirder's reference to trike riding as an "obsession." We have ridden the past three days here in northern lower Michigan, two stretches on the Pere Marquette State Trail both east and west of Evart, and then yesterday on the Betsie Valley Trail.

    We both agree that we will never ride our bikes again and are in the process of giving our bikes to our kids or their kids. :-)

    We are amazed at how seemly effortlessly the miles ride by. After three days of 14, 19, and 24 miles we are only this morning noticing minor stiffness and soreness, but, really nothing to speak of.

    Also, it is interesting the different people that we encounter on the trail that want to ask questions about trikes.

    Our most interesting encounter was yesterday on the Betsie with an 86 year "youngster" riding a Rambler. We were delighted by his telling of his experiences accumulating over 40,000 miles (yes 40,000) on first bikes and in recent years first on a Rover and now the Rambler. What an inspiration he is. We have decided that we want to be just like him "when we grow up."

    Here's to many more rides, miles, and delightful encounters on the trails ahead.
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