It could be your first time on a trike, or you are about to take the three-wheeled ride to an urban area. Either way, there are fundamental precautions that you need to follow to be safe on the road. Keep in mind that you are not riding alone. There are other trikes, bicycles, and cars along with you. This article outlines important points about how to ride an adult tricycle safely.
Unlike a bicycle which has one wheel on the back, a tricycle comes with two back wheels. The riding styles between the two are pretty different since you ride a tricycle while sitting upright but with a bike, you have to lean forward to gain balance. The good thing with trikes is that they are manageable by lots of people no matter the age, so you don’t need to fret much about your skill level.
First things first
Get familiar with the municipal regulations around your area. This will give you a fair ride so you can be responsible for your life and that of others on the road you’ll be using.
Before you learn how to ride an adult tricycle safely:
It’s important that your tricycle has all the safety features before taking it on the road. Does it have bells, reflectors, flags, and lights? Ensure that these accessories are working well.
Check the wheels
Adult tricycles use pneumatic rubber wheels so they’ll need checking whether they have pressure to the correct levels. Important points to remember when learning how to ride an adult tricycle safely.
Get Familiar with the Features
- Know your trike. Ensure that the brakes are working properly. Engage them to see how well they’ll stop when you are in the midst of traffic. You can just try them outside your house in the yard by tightening your grip on them to feel the effect they have on the wheels.
- Work the gears and ensure you have a clear grasp of their mechanism. Also, use other accessories like straps and toe clips if your tricycle comes with them.
- Look at the handlebars. They must be tight enough such you can have a sure grip.
- The saddle is another important entity of the trike. Check to see that it is also tight enough so it will not shift.
- Look at the pedals. Do they provide enough foot-grip? You want your feet to be planted firmly on the trike as you cycle.
Climbing ON and OFF an Adult Tricycle
The saddle of a trike sits lower than that of a typical bicycle. To climb safely, just hold the handlebars firmly to ensure the tricycle does not shift forward or backward as you enter the seat. Then, place one foot on the pedal as it will help you get momentum when you push forward. This is how to ride an adult tricycle safely.
You should feel comfortable enough even before you start pedaling the trike. To climb off, you’ll only need to put one foot on the floor with the hands at the grips, and you are safe to dismount.
To Steer an Adult Tricycle Safely
Ride Defensively: how to ride an adult tricycle safely
- Start at a moderate pace and add your speed as you make progress. Keep riding on a straight line with your body in an upright position. The handlebars will help you feel in control. If you are taking your trike to a sidewalk; ensure that you keep to your side of the road.
- Always watch out for other pedestrians, and if there’s not enough room for you and other pedestrians, pull over for a moment to let them pass.
- Avoid swerving or jumping lanes without signaling.
Concentrate on Your Path
Tricycles need a bigger clearance than bicycles since they have a wide rear. For narrow spaces, you are required to make a good judgment about whether the rear of the tricycle will make it through. Avoid potholes, gravel, oil, curbs, grain grates other obstacles as they may destabilize and tip over trike.
When navigating through corners, slow down and don’t lean forward to prevent the rear wheels from lifting and tilting. What’s more, do not ride the trike when the road is wet, this will limit your ability in how to ride an adult tricycle safely.
Handling Train Tracks
Train tracks are uneven surfaces. A trike’s wheels should always touch the ground at all times. As such, always walk your trike across railroads. If you don’t want to get off the trike; try crossing the tracks at a 90-degree angle.
Expect the Unexpected
Most people driving regular cars can see the road well enough. But not many expect a tricycle to be ridden along with them in busy traffic. It’s not uncommon for a driver to spook when they see you on the sides of their car. You should always be prepared for such occurrences.
To be safe on a busy road, use the whole lane in front of another car. This makes you visible such the car behind you only overtakes when it’s safe. Also, avoid being on the edge of lanes where there’s a parking lot. Someone may miss your presence when getting their vehicle on the road in reverse.
Keep a Comfortable Stopping Distance
Give yourself some space. You’ll want to brake safely so as not to bump into other riders and drivers. Do not get too close to the back of the car in front of you. If you have been following the same vehicle for over 200meters; maintain at least 2meters from its back.
Remember that how to ride an adult tricycle safely is more susceptible to losing control when the weather is bad. As such, the brakes may also resist when the tires are skidding. To brake safely, avoid locking the brakes. Keep in mind that the front brake is always stronger so use the rear ones first and then the front one to be in control at all times.
Not to mention, when the weather obscures visibility; have on you bright colored outer clothing or the trike must have a flashing white light. You should be seen from 200meters away.
Riding at Crossing Roads
Here we are talking about zebra crossings, pedestrian crossings, and signalized pedestrian crossings. It’s advisable to walk the trike on zebra crossings. Wait for the green to walk light, walk safely to the other side, and keep to the left of other vehicles, trikes, and bicycles.
Riding at Roundabouts
You’ll want to enter lanes in the same way that other vehicles do. That is, you should enter the roundabout and make a turn from the right lane. Give way to other drivers just as you would want them to give you space while making turns.
Use Hand Signals
When taking a turn, signal other drivers. Say like you are taking the right turn, stretch your hand out horizontally such that your palm is facing forward and that it is at a right angle from your bicycle’s right side.
Obey Traffic Laws
- Every tricycle must keep up the same rules and regulations that govern vehicles.
- Ride in the traffic’s direction. It’s dangerous to steer into oncoming traffic
- Obey traffic lights. That is; Stop at Stop Signs, Walk at the Green signal for crossings, and do not disobey NO U-turn signs
- Don’t overtake other vehicles from the right
- Notice the Safety Signal Words like WARNING!, NOTICE!, and CAUTION
- Keep at the Speed Limit. Yes! Tricycles can still pick up speed. Just remember that they are a bit harder to stabilize if you lose control.
- Do not ride on prohibited sidewalks.
Wear Proper Riding Clothes
To keep yourself visible and safe, remember to put on the appropriate riding attire. If possible, wear reflective gear in bright colors to let others see you.
Essential safety gear includes a helmet, knee pads, and elbow pads. Ensure that the helmet fits your head. In some states, helmets are a must have; so wear one.
For the warm weather, ensure your clothes are properly ventilated since you’ll be riding in the scorching sun. Wear fitting clothes, but they should not be too tight that they stop flexible movements. In winter, warm attires will keep you riding comfortably. Look for long sleeves and dense fabrics that add insulation.
It’s important that you avoid loose clothes which may tangle in the tricycles moving parts.
Don’t restrict your hearing or eyesight
- Always be aware of what’s around you. This means keeping your ears alert at all times. Do not use your phone or headphones that block out traffic sounds.
- Don’t hold the phone to your ear or reply to text messages.
- Listen to the sound of other vehicles. You’ll always want to be sure other cars are making the right noise. Use the mirrors on your trike to know the location of other vehicles.
- Watch out for blind spots because as we said; Expect the Unexpected
Don’t carry items or passengers that can limit stability
- You can carry a load on the tricycle. The package should have just the correct weight so you can maintain control of the trike. The load should also never fall off the cargo basket.
- Only carry passengers if the tricycle is designed in a way it can accommodate someone else. If the trike is made to carry a passenger, make sure they are wearing a proper helmet.
- When with other riders; keep at least 1.5meters from each other. And, do not take on two other riders side by side.
Conclusions about how to ride an adult tricycle safely
Riding an adult tricycle remains one of the most enjoyable activities you can engage. Remember the important practices that make the whole experience more memorable. Whether you are commuting or picking up groceries; just be confident and feel in control.
Have a safe ride.