I was just remembering back as a teenager it was late at night just after midnite when I decided to accompany a friend home out in the country a few miles from town. We both were riding motorcycles. We rode to his house and I departed from him heading back home by myself. Much to my surprise I fell asleep while riding my motorcycle down the lonely highway. I awoke suddenly when my front tire went off of the edge of the pavement. Thankfully I was able to recover and from there on I managed to stay awake. I have other stories I could tell involving cars, but I will spare you. I wanted to mention this story about the motorcycle as riding off the road could have been disastrous … even fatal … far more so than with a car.
The same is true while riding our trikes. While riding along if we are not paying close enough attention we can find ourselves in trouble if a wheel goes off of the edge of the pavement … whether on a road or a trail. Sometimes we may be by an embankment or water or both at the same time. Having a wheel go off of the edge could all too easily result in disaster.
This can be the result …
It can happen so quick and take it from someone who has experienced it. I don’t know about you, but I like to have fun when riding my trike and this just ain’t no fun!
Just something as simple as the drop off along the edge of a trail or road like pictured above can be an experience. As you can see the ground slopes down off of the edge. Once a wheel drops off the edge you already have momentum going to tip you over and the sloped ground makes it even worse. By the way, I caution you if you do find yourself going off the edge it is usually best and safest to slow down if you are not already going slow before attempting to steer and climb back up over the edge of the pavement. Sometimes you just can’t get the tire to climb back up onto the pavement in which case it is probably best to get off and manually lift the trike back onto the pavement.
If you are fortunate to be riding with at least one other person it might be wise to just stop and sit still hollering for them to come to your aid. If you are on too steep of an embankment (and it doesn’t take much) you could very easily go on over if you try to get your trike moving from there or if you try to get up. Another possibility is to get help from someone passing by. It is better to be safe than sorry. Just be careful if you are along side of an embankment as that can be quite dangerous and challenging. Making much of any kind of a move things can go terribly wrong very quickly and there is usually nothing you can do to prevent going over. The old saying applies … “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”.
In the picture below I have drawn a red line where a trail is. It is a concrete surface with about a 4 inch or so drop off along the edge of the concrete. There is an embankment … long and high sloped down to the street. This trail is built along the top of a man made levee running alongside the river. You can see it in the picture further below.
There is pipe railing along the river side as a barrier to keep trail users from going off that side and down into the river, but nothing along the other side of the trail (no type of barrier) to prevent someone from taking a nasty tumble quite possibly (and probably) not stopping until they land out in the street. It is a very dangerous situation. I would not be surprised to hear of someone having a bad accident along there one of these days. I am surprised it hasn’t happened already. Perhaps it has and I just don’t know about it.
Anyone who knows and understands the physical science involved when a trike tire suddenly drops down it has inertia built up and the rider’s body weight suddenly shifting to one side as a result adds to the forces involved making the trike tip over quickly. Once this starts it is hard to stop it and prevent the tip over. And when there is a sloped embankment present it is pretty much impossible to keep it from happening and greatly increasing the danger.
Watch where you are riding at all times and avoid being a victim of such a fate. You will not only be able to ENJOY THE RIDE, but you will be able to … KEEP ON TRIKIN’.