Yeah yeah, you love your road bike. You love riding hunched over, craning your neck around to see what’s coming, you leather saddle sticking into your crotch like it’s trying to rob the family jewels. And bully for you.
But secretly, in your heart of hearts, don’t you wish you had an adult tricycle?
Before moving to Miami, I hadn’t ever seen more than a handful of them in my life. But take a spin down Flagler, ride out to the fishing pier off the Rickenbacker – hell, just stand around on Biscayne for half an hour, and these things are everywhere.
The advantages are obvious: you can load them full of all kinds of crap – fishing gear, groceries, cases of beer; they’re comfy, and it’s impossible – absolutely impossible! – to fall over on them (a quality whose benefit is even greater in conjunction with the beer factor); and they open the door to riding for old folks, even the disabled in some cases.
All of which begs the question: where in hell can I get one?
Chris Marshall, the proprietor of the Broken Spoke bike shop (10451 Northwest 7th Ave, 305-758-3045) sells them when he’s got them – and lately, that’s not so often.
“We sell ’em pretty good – a lot of people around here use them for grocery getters,” Marshall said over the phone. “I sell every used one I can get my hands on. They usually don’t last more than a couple days.”
Marshall sells new trikes for around three hundred dollars; used ones might cost about half that. One bike he won’t sell is the chrome-plated “Double Trouble,” pictured above, which he built by hand for a competition. You can’t buy it, but you can see it at his shop – along with about a hundred more cool bikes - any time he’s open.
“Senior citizens use them, you see them a lot around trailer parks,” Marshall added. “Fisherman use them, there’s a couple scrap guys that pick up their scrap in them – I got his one guy in Opa Locka and he’s got five of them, a couple with old weedwacker motors on them.”
And here’s a trike constituency that might surprise you:
“Canadians,” Marshall affirmed. “The Canadians really get into this big thing where they decorate them and put lights and ribbons on them and this sort of thing. And this has been a good year for them, because the Canadian dollar is doing so well.”
Ricardo Ochoa, who owns the down-home Cuba Bicycle Shop (2930 Northwest 7th Ave, (305) 634-0951) says he’s seen a new trend with trikes: “Mostly, I still see older people riding them, but lately – these kids are going crazy, you know? They want the adult tricycles now, too.”
The problem, Ochoa says, is that most of the people in the market for an adult tricycle are low on cash, and they want something used. But in this case, demand is higher than supply, and he can’t hold on to enough used trikes to satisfy the masses.
Still, no harm in trying: anybody out there picks up one of these things, do us a favor and tell us how it goes. Pedal power aside, you get bonus points if you put a weedwacker on it.