Think three-wheeled bikes are just for kids? Think again: According to the Associated Press, a growing number of baby boomers are buying “trikes” – which are basically three-wheeled motorcycles. Why boomers? Because they make up the largest group of motorcycle owners in North America, with almost half of them born before 1964! As many of those boomers reach retirement age, they may no longer be strong enough to continue balancing a traditional two-wheeler – because of arthritis, back pain, or other physical disabilities. So, a trike gives older riders a chance to stay active on the road, without the risk of getting hurt.
For example: Arthur McCoy is a 71-year old rider from Los Angeles, whose motorcycling days nearly came to an end last year after he lost one of his legs to cancer. McCoy now rides a customized trike that makes it possible for him and his wife to take long road trips at least once a month. He says it’s better than being stuck at home all day. The couple remains so active; they’ve joined an international club for trike enthusiasts, called Brothers of the Third Wheel.
Trikes are also safer to ride than a traditional motorcycle. That’s because a typical trike can be as much as 12 feet long, and six feet wide! That makes them easier to spot in a car’s rearview mirror, if a rider starts weaving in and out of traffic. That extra visibility is also great for people like Jim McGrath. He’s a 75-year old triker who says he enjoys the extra attention he gets when he pulls into gas stations, because people always want to stop and talk about his trike.
While trikes have been around since World War One, today’s trikes are loaded with modern amenities - like cruise control, GPS navigation, and hand warmers. In fact, a brand new trike could easily set you back more than $30,000, but there’s a growing number of conversion shops popping up, that’ll add a third wheel to your old motorcycle for just a few thousand dollars. Want to go further? Check out the home page for the Brothers of the Third Wheel, at: BTW-trikers.org.