TADPOLE TRIKES ARE NOT MADE TO CLIMB WALLS

Tadpole trikes are not made for climbing walls. A friend of mine found out the hard way. I don’t have any pictures of his accident as he was by himself at the time. Since I wasn’t there I didn’t see it happen, but I would guess that it was either a matter of going too fast or not paying enough attention. Either way the result was the same. He was turning a sharp 90 degree corner in this boardwalk (illustrated by yellow arrow in the second picture below). The first picture shows the trail as it goes along and to this boardwalk. The yellow X shows where the accident happened.

maumee trail and zigzag boardwalk marked

This section of the trail incorporates a zigzag boardwalk which connects the trail at street level to the trail down below … a matter of about 30 feet or more in height difference. You can see this in the video below.

zigzag boardwalk marked

Here is a video I made several years ago showing the view of this area as I ride down this boardwalk ramp. I was riding my homemade tadpole trike I had at that time. I apologize for the rather poor quality of the video. It has been cloned a couple of times at least and lost some quality with each copy (much like what happened in the movie, Mulitiplicity. Also I made the mistake of allowing YouTube to “stabilize” it which only made it worse. This boardwalk starts at about the 2:35 minute mark and the wreck occurred at about the 3:48 mark. By the way, this same friend had another wreck when he ran into the sides of another boardwalk which is also shown in the video at about the 6:38 mark. He was coming the opposite direction I am going in the video and was “hot dogging”. He broke his ankle in that accident. That was within a couple of weeks or so of buying his first tadpole trike.

As my friend made the turn his left front tire got into the wooden fence and climbed up the “wall” until he tipped over. It flipped him over hard and fast and he landed on his shoulder and back and got injured somewhat. It was sore for quite awhile.

Anybody who has followed my writings knows that I have said more than once that a trike is a blast to ride and relatively safe and stable. However, they will tip over and it doesn’t take much to get into trouble quickly. Once a trike starts going over it is difficult to recover from it.

I took my trike to the place where it happened and positioned it so it looked like it was climbing the fence … in an attempt to sort of illustrate what happened. I could not duplicate it since I was by myself and had nobody to help either hold the trike in position or take the pictures for me. Here are some of the pictures I took.

climbing wall front

climbing wall side

climbing wall rear

I think you can see that it would not take much for the trike to tip over, especially when the rider’s weight is suddenly shifted to the right as the trike gets into the wall and starts tipping.

By the way, if you have not yet discovered it these wooden boardwalks can be extremely slippery when wet and very dangerous.

Anyway, be careful when riding near fences and walls as this could happen to you. We all want to …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

THIS COULD HAPPEN TO YOU

Yes, if you aren’t careful this could happen to you. They say a picture (in this case a series of them) is worth a thousand words. So I will show the pictures and save myself a whole lot of typing …

ooops ... wipe out on trike 1

ooops ... wipe out on trike 2

ooops ... wipe out on trike 3

ooops ... wipe out on trike 5

ooops ... wipe out on trike 6

ooops ... wipe out on trike 7

ooops ... wipe out on trike 8

Ouch! If nothing else happened here there is definitely a bad case of road rash. You can tell by the expression on his face that something is hurting. All I can say is … “been there, done that … and not anxious to repeat it”. Preventing this from happening is a matter of either leaning in sufficiently or slowing down sufficiently or perhaps both. You can see in the first picture that the rider is leaning in, yet this wipeout still happened. I am not sure what happened. I don’t know if leaning in more would have prevented it or not. This can happen so very fast and there is nothing much one can do to prevent it once it starts. Sometimes all it takes is for a tire to go into something (such as a dip, depression or ripple in the pavement … or something sticking up above the pavement) as it is moving laterally and the tire will sort of grab and the trike can readily flip over. It could be a wet slick spot on the pavement that allows the tire to slide and then grab as it hits dry non slick pavement. On a bicycle this is extremely dangerous as the bike can be violently thrown down to the pavement when the tire suddenly grabs.

Keep in mind also that the higher off of the ground you sit the higher the center of gravity is. And this equates to the easier it is for the trike to tip over. Also if you have a trike which allows the seat to be adjusted to various locations including the seat back angle these adjustments change the handling characteristics.  Seats that can be adjusted forward and backwards are the most concern in this regard.

Tadpole trikes have their limits and so do we. Soooooo …. be careful out there! I am fairly sure that we all want to …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

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