A Tale of Two Trikes

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SLT Spyder Shasta

Photos by Lanny Thompson

I never thought that when I took delivery this May of the 2010 Can-Am Spyder RT-S for its CW long-term test that I'd discover a completely unlooked-for artifact of riding it: improved fitness. See, on the night of my 56th birthday, back in May, 2004, I got much too up close and personal with the sheetmetal of a 1995 Chevy. Ever since I was able to get out of my wheelchair three years ago, I've been going to the local gym to get the musculoskeletal system back up to some kind of speed.

As my aging bod sweated its way through each session at the gym, though, I chafed to be outside again, on my bikes—that is, my motorcycle and my bicycle. Not gonna happen, cowboy. Fractured pelvis sheared some nerves that never got repaired, so key muscles in the left leg just don't work. With a full leg brace and a cane, I can stump around, but the ambulation I use is called "hip-hiking," which makes you look like a drunken sailor with a peg leg, but it gets the job done when walking a short distance is needed.

I discovered at the gym that I could use Bontrager MBX bicycle clip-in shoes to work the pedals on a recumbent bicycle exercise machine, so eventually the legs got strong enough to consider venturing out on a recumbent trike. The right one for me turned out to be a "tadpole" (the bicycle guys call trikes with two front wheels "tadpoles" and those with two rear wheels "deltas") made by Inspired Cycle Engineering in Cornwall, England. I got a new "Adventure 2fs" that is fast, easy to ride and keeps my lower legs working as well as I could expect them to—without my having to go to a gym.

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SLT ICE