Confessions of a newbie Trikke-o-holic, or, how I ended up with all these Trikke carving vehicles

“I have been married for 32 years to the same woman and never once thought of upgrading. It’s not even been a month and I’m on my third Trikke.”
Paul Saumure’s dog likes running with Paul Saumure’s Pon-e lite

Hi, my name is Paul and I am a Trikke-o-holic. I need just one more ride. How did I get hooked on Trikkes, you ask? It all started one day when I met a pusher on the beach named Randy Boyd [TrikkeWorld publisher]. He turned me on to his connection at SouthBay Trikke, Andy Pliska, who got me started on a T78 Air. It wasn’t long before I got started on the hard stuff. Yes, two Pon-e lite’s and now a T12 Roadster. I’m hooked!

I’m 50 years old, and have been dealing with diabetes and recovering from a partial amputation of my right foot. When I met Randy, I was looking for something to help with the circulation in my legs. It appeared the Trikke would give me a full body workout, so I went to SouthBay Trikke to find one to meet my needs.

I got started with a T78 air with some upgrades. I LOVED IT! I rode it twice a day, every day, extending my ride by 100 yards each day until I reached nine miles. This little thing was working me out. I was coming home with my shirts soaked, I was feeling good, I wanted more…

The winds were kicking up in April and I remembered that Randy’s Trikke had a battery. I was thinking I could workout one way and use the battery to help with the winds, because when they kicked up, I was going nowhere! I contacted Randy (my pusher) and got the scoop on the Pon-e lite he had when I met him.

I had been considering getting a Vespa scooter for my wife, so she could use it to go into town and pick things up from the store. (We live on the beach and parking is hard to find.) We decided to use the money reserved for the Vespa, trade in my T78 and get two Pon-e lite’s — one for me and one for my wife. Now we are known as the “Pon-e Express” around town. We go everywhere on our new Trikkes. We even got a season pass to El Dorado Park to do our morning rides.

“…we feel better then we have with any other exercise routine.”

I then made the mistake of reading about the T12 Roadster and watching some of the videos on YouTube. I ended up finding a T12 Roadster on Craigslist for $250. I called my pushers (Andy and Randy) to make sure this was a good deal. The next day, Andy tuned up my newly acquired T12 and I was on a 12-mile ride in Long Beach. It felt soooo good, I did not want it to end. Lets go again!

I still like our battered-powered Trikkes. Laura and I go all over on them. In the beginning, we used the battery a lot and would drain it on a single ride. Now, we hardly use one line [of the four-line battery meter].

Laura Saumure carves the Long Beach shoreline.

I need to stop reading all the cool stuff that the other Trikkes do. Funny, I have been married for 32 years to the same woman and never once thought of upgrading. It’s not even been a month and I’m on my third Trikke. If I keep this up, I will not have a wife (they just don’t understand).

Laura and I have been using our Trikkes for almost a month and we feel better then we have with any other exercise routine. With diabetes, I could give you many excuses why not to ride a Trikke. Even with my disabilities, I have been able to accomplish a lot. And for those thinking they are too old, my wife will be celebrating her 60th birthday this September, 2013. The more we do, the better we feel. So, Trikke on…

Out of all the Trikkes that I have had, I would only make one recommendation. Get disk brakes! I find the bigger the Trikke, the easier they are to ride. As for a body powered Trikke, the T12 Roadster is the Trikke for me. But I would not give up my Pon-e’s. They are a blast. You can put them in your car and go anywhere!

A special thank you to my local pushers, Randy Boyd and Andy Pliska, for all their help on our journey. Laura and I would have been lost without all their advice and help. We look forward to years of Trikking.

Paul and Laura Saumure

This article has 26 Comments

  1. Hi Paul, enjoyed reading the article. I’ve never Trikked and there are no dealers in my state (MN) but I’m looking at a T12. My main concern is hills. I’ve got a fairly decent one that runs the length of my town so I’m wondering how a Trikke would handle a climb.

    1. The Trikke will do just fine. You on the hand, depends on what kind of shape that you are in. I’m just getting started, so my hill climbing experience is rather weak. Although, a T12 is the Trikke of choice for hill climbing. I have watched Randy ride his T12 up hill and he looked as if he was riding on a flat surface. Amassing! If I’m powering the Trikke, I prefer the T12. Much easier then a Trikke with smaller wheels for me. Great workout too. Now my Pon-e lite goes up the hills, through the wind with ease. I will use it when I go out on a windy day. I use the battery as I carve into the wind and then carve my way back. The same thing for hills. I have been doing this for a month now and I am becoming less Reliant on the battery.

    2. Hi Augie. I started Trikking just over a year ago. I live in Pennsylvania, and hills were my primary concern as well. I was very out of shape and overweight, and when I got my first Trikke (a T78 Deluxe) I sought out every flat (or close to flat) strip of asphalt I could find. As my riding skills and fitness improved, I was able to start handling smaller hills, then larger ones. Now I actively seek out hills for a challenge and because they’re a better workout. I can currently climb hills up to 4 or 5 degrees, but I have seen other riders climb 9 to 10 degree hills (which seems to be the limit). I know these degrees precisely because I have an app on my smartphone that measures them. If your hill is within those limits, you can learn to climb it. My only advice would be if you’re going to ride hills get a Trikke with disk brakes. I upgraded from the T78 to a new T8 Sport when I started riding hills, because the scrub brakes won’t help you much once you get moving fast. Best of luck to you, and I hope you’ll be able to get a Trikke soon.

  2. Hello Paul, I am also a major trikke junkie. I replaced the battery in my computer last 7-29-2012 on my T-12 and to date I have logged 1,130 miles. I am considering buying the 48V model and have a key question I hope you will answer with details. How do work the battery throttle so you know you are using as much manual power as possible? Is this just a feel you will develop as you ride or what have you learned? I am 58 and have battled type II diabetes for 10 years but after just 120 days following the “Forks over Knives” plant base diet my AC1 dropped to 6.3 (6.5 and above is the diabetic level) curing / reversing my diabetes. My doctor totally freeked out explaining in his 32 years of practice he has never seen this amazing results. If you want to learn the facts on the “Forks over Knives” diet and research just go this link and watch the 60 minutes style 1 1/2 movie to learn all the research and facts on why the standard american diet is so unhealthy.

    1. Hi John. Wow, that’s impressive. I have been riding a little over a month and I have gone almost 500 miles. My Trikke’s don’t have a computer but I track my miles via my iPhone and my heart-rate app by polar. It’s amassing, it even tracked your speed, and prints out where you went. Technology is amassing. I leave my battery on 1 when I ride. I use it to start off or to help push through the wind, or if I have a hill that I have a problem with. Every thing is by feel. I’m using the Trikke as a workout, so I focus on carving. If its to easy, I back off. I prefer to use T12 whenever I can. No battery on that and you have to workout. We have watched the video on forks over knives. I know it works, but it was a bit extreme for me. I could do it short term nothing ongoing. I tried a eating method that works for me along with exercise. My numbers are more Manageable. Hey, maybe I can get a prescription for my Trikke.

  3. Y’know, I’m sure I’d love my Trikke a lot of I could just figure out how to make it GO. It’s so frustrating I basically gave up on it. Too bad, looks like fun but there’s a trick to it and I just can’t seem to figure it out no matter how long I spend on it. I can get it going down a hill but as soon as it levels out–nothing. It’s a rather expensive mistake, to my mind.

    1. There are many videos on how to ride a trike on YouTube a fellow in Australia has a very good video practice in an empty tennis court

    1. Where are you located ?
      I know your frustration . It took me much longer than most people to find the “sweet spot”.

  4. Hello,

    I have a t78cs black. I wanted one after I saw a infomercial on Trikke. I can’t ride the thing. Is there anywhere I can take classes to learn how to ride? Can’t wait to learn in Lorton, Va.

  5. Hey…there is no rule that when you lose your momentum you can’t put one foot down and push off to get it back. Your still getting exercise….and you can walk your trikke up the hills until you learn the technique of carving:-) Also waiting at a red light is a perfect time to do curls with your trikke.
    To kind of get the feel of carving as a beginner….be on a flat surface with your weight shifted more to the front and wiggle the front wheel back and forth and it will start pulling you forward….it’s just that easy:-) Now getting the rest of the body ingaged takes some muscle memory for which takes time…..but you can be burning calories while you get that sweet spot down…..yah:-)

  6. Hi Paul I bought my first Trikke, a T-6 I think, about 10 years ago by mail. Took at least 2 weeks to figure out the rock and roll rhythm. Made me crazy when the kid next door had it flying down the street after 2 minutes. Soon moved up to a T-8 bought from BJ Veirs at Jax Trikkes in Jacksonville, Florida. Wore it out after a few years and then bought a T-12 from BJ in 2010. I’ve been riding it at least twice a day ever since, except for last Fall when I had a total knee replacement. I finally got back on it in March for my 70th birthday. The rock and roll rhythm is still a little tough (no ACL in my new knee), but I’m beginning to climb hills again

  7. Great addiction! You are really lucky to have your spousal support of your addiction. My spouse said it had to be her or the beer and fishing… I miss her!

  8. Lynn, if you have trouble getting your Trikke moving… you may have your front wheel on backwards.. seriously.

    I’ve helped several people with the same issue, and every one of their Trikkes had the front wheel fork turned the wrong way…

    Once they reversed the front fork…they were off to the races!

    If this is the case, all you have to do is remove the handle bars, turn the fork 180 degrees and reattach the handle bars…

    Believe me…this will make ALL the difference…

    I know because I assembled my t12 fork incorrectly at first !!

    Hope this helps…


  9. Ray, so how does one know if their front wheel is on backwards? I bought my T8 Sport used, and have no manual, or video, or anything. I did pump the tires up to 81. (They were at 40.) I also have watched a few you tubes. I have only had it a couple of days, but am having fun picking up some speed on my slanted driveway. Will take it to a flat parking lot this weekend, and see if I can make it move at all.
    Sure would like to know if my front tire is on right.

    Thanks, and Happy 4th!!

  10. I have seen several of these Trikkes up for sale at year sales and most of them have the front fork on backwards. They are way harder to ride that way. I have been riding for 4 years plus and love them. From a T-8 to t5 to T78Air to T-8 air. Had 7 at one time now down to 3. I am the only one riding in town and the back roads here in Grants Pass Oregon. Some times 3 plus hours up hills, dirt roads, etc… The air tires really help clime hills and going on dirt. But the funniest thing to do is ride at the concerts in the park with the hills to climb. 2 to 3 hours and it is the closest thing to dancing for me. I am 58 next month and will ride my Trikke every time I can. The only complain I have is it is hard to walk the dog and ride the Trikke LOL. Next up is buying a T 12. But for fun the T 8 air is the best I have 2 now and an old T8 if I want to go faster. Air tires do slow you down a little but it is easier on the feet on rough roads and easier to clime hills or go down grass hills :-). Love music and riding the Trikke 🙂

  11. I have had my Trikke several years now. Nice looking vehicle. But it sits in my garage cause I have yet to figure out how to get it going. The slight slant of my neighbors driveway helps but once I roll onto flat surface it stops. A young child on the next block has one I tried to use & was able to use it. This makes me sad I paid almost $500 for something I expected to enjoy. I’m an avid bike rider & skate boarding 48 year old female. I have 2 sons in their 20s who can’t get it going either! I am full of hope that removing handlebars & turning wheel 180 degrees will be my answer!

  12. Hi Trikkers,
    I have had my Trikke T8 for several years and enjoy it immensely. I am 76 years old and have no fear of riding it on the flats or uphill. My twin sister bought a smaller one and does fairly well but doesn’t go fast enough to keep up. I discovered that the wheel was on backwards. Correcting that problem made all the difference in the world. I would suggest that those who are struggling with it find a slight incline to go down. I picked it up right away thanks to the incline that was right outside our front door. Just do the carving on the decline and then duplicate it on the flats. You will learn quickly. Our ten year old grandson got on it and rode away like he had done it for years. We ride together on a path in Michigan as I have a smaller one that he can ride. Tucson has several bike paths that work well, too. A T12 would be even nicer but my stature (4’10”) prevents me from moving up as the spread is too much for me. Happy Trikking!

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