Access and Resources
Tricycles and bicycles provide safe active transportation for people of all ages and allow you to travel longer distances than you can by walking. Baskets and panniers enable you to carry groceries and other baggage.
Tricycles provide older adults a secure and stable means of getting around. Low chains and the design of the frame makes mounting the trike much easier since it is a very low step to position yourself on either side of the seat so you can sit down on it and be on your way. There is no need to step up. Three wheels instead of two makes for a stable ride while still providing the speed necessary to go the distance required. Tricycles have the added benefit of providing considerable storage space for groceries, books or other baggage.
Photo courtesy of Pedals Bicycles
Adding one wheel to a bicycle can make a world of difference. While they may look alike, bicycles and tricycles function in very different ways. Tricycles feature two wheels at their back end, rather than just one on a bicycle. This extra wheel provides stability by preventing the tricycle from tipping over, eliminating the rider’s need to maintain balance. Tricycles also feature a flat seat that allows the rider to sit upright rather than leaning forward. This is more leisurely and less effective at generating power, but it is also more comfortable and desirable for recreational riding. As easy and common as it is to ride a bike, tricycles are even easier.
Place the tricycle on a flat surface and sit on the seat. Place your hands on both handlebars and put your feet on the pedals. You should be able to sit there without pedaling and maintain an upright position — one of the advantages of tricycles.
Pedal the tricycle slowly. Initially, you will want to ease yourself into riding the tricycle and giving yourself time to get adjusted. Use the handlebars to steer the tricycle as needed along paths and around obstacles.
Test the brakes to make sure you can slow the tricycle properly. Most tricycles have hand brakes close to where you grip the handlebars. Tighten your hand around these levers to increase friction on the wheels and slow the tricycle to a stop.
Caution – Tricycles can be large and imposing so be careful of pedestrians when you ride them on sidewalks and pedestrian paths.
There are a lot of seniors riding on two wheels as well.
Cycling clubs are a good way to stay active and stay involved in your community.
The Norwest Cycling Club in West Vancouver organizes rides 9 months of the year. Please let us know about seniors cycling clubs in your area.
Santa Fe Seniors on Bikes has posted a video that offers some insight on how to get a bike club started yourself.
The Biking Bis Blog posts many inspiring stories, including that of Jack Thacker who is riding 12km a day at the age of 96.
For a ride that is more comfortable and more likely free from injury, make sure your bike fits you properly. Click here.