The son who gave the President a Trikke

How Jack Carter introduced his parents, Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter, to Trikke carving vehicles

Jack Carter speaks while his father watches.
Jack Carter speaks while his father watches.

He’s the first son of the 39th president of the United States of America. He’s also a runner, a businessman and a Trikke rider.

John William “Jack” Carter lives with his wife Elizabeth in Las Vegas, where he operates the investment consulting firm Carter Global. In 2006, he made an unsuccessful bid for the Nevada senate seat, but in the Trikke community, he’s best known for introducing the three-wheel wonder to his presidential parents, Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter.

So how did the Carters become carvers? The answers are revealed in this Q&A with Jack Carter, the son who gave the president a Trikke.

Question: When did your Trikke story begin?
Jack Carter: I would guess four years ago, maybe longer. I was searching the web for a push scooter that would hold a couple hundred pounds, as opposed to the ones that hold 80 or 100 pounds. In the course of looking, I ran across the Trikke. It looked like a great cross training deal, so I bought one. I tried it for about two or three weeks and couldn’t get it to go anywhere, so I laid off of it. I got back on it later on, did a little better. Then my son-in-law from Australia came over to my house, got on it and all of a sudden, he was running rings around me. That got me motivated. Now I’m pretty decent with it.

Q: How often do you go riding?
JC: During the summer I go for 6-8 miles maybe a couple times a week.

“I pretty much recommend Trikke to everybody. I talk about it a lot.”

Q: Is it true that you’re mainly a runner like your father?
JC: Dad had to quit running at eighty, but I’m not there yet.

Q: How did you introduce your parents to the Trikke?
JC: I was looking around for someone in the Plains (Georgia) area and I found Lisa Perkins of Atlanta Trikke. I called her up and said that I wanted to get my parents Trikkes because I was convinced [about its benefits]. I get roughly 90% of my running heart rate riding Trikkes. And there’s very little impact and it works the whole body–all the things Trikke says it does, I found to be true. And I thought Mom and Dad might like them, particularly because Plains doesn’t have an awful lot of hills. That was Christmas two years ago. Lisa and her husband took [two T-8’s] to the Carter Center and they showed Mom and Dad how to ride them.

Q: And now?
JC: Every morning they ride 50 laps around the tennis court and they take them out in Plains and ride around the streets there. I’ve visited then since then and ridden around with them and showed some of the other family members how to do it.

Q: And the rest of the family’s impression of the Trikke?
JC: Well, Dad makes a lot of people ride it when they go down to Plains and we’ve had several of our kids try them. I think everybody’s impressed with it. Everybody gets on it and putters around on the tennis court. The ones that are more adventurous or younger take it out in the hills. I was riding the Trikke down in Plains once and one of my sons was running alongside me. He determined that over the first 50-80 yards he had the edge, then after that, I mopped him up.

Q: Who’s the fastest trikker between you and your parents?
JC: Oh, I think I’m faster than they are, but I’m twenty some odd years younger, too.

Q: Do you recommend the Trikke to other senior citizens?
JC: I pretty much recommend Trikke to everybody. I talk about it a lot.

Q: What would you say to people who are older and/or afraid to get on the Trikke?
JC: The hardest part is the first ten hours that you’re at it. That’s about what it takes to get enough of the feel to be able to go up small hills and things like that. It’s like anything you start. You always start out relatively incompetent at it, but it’s a rhythmic action and once you get that particular rhythm, it all comes together.

Q: Anything else you’d like to add?
JC: The Trikke is a phenomenal device. It really does what it’s supposed to. The surprising thing to me is, it’s a full body workout. You can really drive yourself to exhaustion without too much effort.

• This story originally appeared in TrikkeWorld Magazine in February, 2011.

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