It’s been a long, hilly ride from bicycles to a tricycle!
My name is Donna Hobbs and I started as an avid mountain biker who loved to bike the dry creek beds on our 325-acre Ohio farm, & the steep downhills out in Colorado.
However, my mountain biking days ended when I needed a knee replacement to repair damage done in a skiing accident & a couple of surgeries.
I figured I could safely do road biking with my artificial knee, & so I started doing organized bike rides of 25-35 miles, using clipless peddles that were easy to unclip.
I did well on my Specialized women’s road bike at first.
As time went on, however, I found I was so tired & weak at the end of the ride that I couldn’t get my leg over the bar to get off without falling.
The high bar on ordinary women’s bikes was too high. I’m 4’9″ tall.
So, I bought a Roll bicycle with a low bar. I was okay at the end of the ride but found I couldn’t keep up with the crowd and would finish after everyone else had gone home. Rats!
I ordered an Xtra-Small women’s Electric Bike online.
Although it was Xtra-small, it was still a little big & I couldn’t straddle it. My son taught me how to start without straddling.
However, whenever I needed to dismount quickly, I would fall, usually hitting my head on the road (even though I had a helmet on.) These blows to my head activated my BENIGN PAROXYSMAL POSITIONAL VERTIGO, and that made everything worse because now I had vertigo to deal with!
It was about this time, about 3/4 of the way through the rides, that I started doing crazy things.
Constantly alone, I would suddenly veer off the road, into a grassy ditch, then into the grass, then fall.
Another time, I veered off the road & ran right into a concrete block in a parking lot & crashed. Another time, I veered off the road into this thick wooded hedge.
I ended up downhill from my bike.
I had a terrible time getting upright and getting out of the hedge. I have no idea why I was doing these things. I wasn’t thinking about them before they happened; they happened suddenly.
Okay, so I needed a bike with a low enough bar to straddle.
So I went to a Trek store & bought a low step-through TREK women’s Electric bike & it seemed fine until I took it to a Hilly organized ride.
It didn’t have enough power (250-watt motor) to make it up the hills when I ran out of gas/energy. I had to peddle like crazy all of the time.
My legs were SO sore the next few days. Meanwhile, I had these strange episodes of veering off the road back to the ranch.
Okay, I needed a low step thru, more powerful Electric bike.
So, after searching the Internet, which I always did before buying a bike, I purchased this Pedego Boomerang Electric Bike at the Pedego Bike Store.
I only got a little instruction on how to use it.
I was trying to load it onto the bike rack when it shot into the air and hit the car. Touching the throttle was a scary experience because it would TAKE OFF!
So, I took it to this 34-mile organized bike ride. It’s painful to even think about it.
The crazy veering off the road continued. I fell five times on that ride. I asked this guy for help at a SAG stop when I crashed into his bike right in front of his car.
I was humiliated.
I told him about my problems. He tried to help me but then suggested I buy a tricycle. On the last fall of this ride, I veered off the road into a ditch & became entangled in a fence.
I broke a bone in my foot. I was so upset I took the bike back to the Pedego Store the same day & wanted my money back. Unfortunately, I’ve had it for too long. They are trying to sell it for me.
So now what???
I was at the bottom of bike ideas. As I thought about a trike, I thought I’d look dumb, but then I thought of all of the three-wheeled vehicles on our organized rides, & thought it might not be so bad.
At least I wouldn’t be crashing & falling all of the time, running into people, & risking more broken bones. At age 75, with osteoporosis, & vertigo, it might be the only safe way for me to continue biking.
So, I searched for the best women’s electric trike for my height on the Internet.
I found the Evelo Compass Electric trike suitable for 4’10” women!
I didn’t have time to practice, but I rode it for the first time on the hilly 30-mile Great Pumpkin Roll Gran Fondo & it was great. No falls & no veering off the road.
I kept up with & even passed people.
I was embarrassed to be passing people. I’d never done that before. Toward the end of the ride, I worried that I would veer off the road or do something stupid, but it never happened.
It was strange riding a trike rather than a bike, though. It seemed to “shimmy” as I rode along. The curves were weird. It was as if the bike didn’t want to turn.
I felt safest riding toward the middle of the road.
I didn’t feel as in control as I always have on a bike. Since that organized ride, I’ve been riding it “off-road” on my farm. It seems a bit “tippy” on the uneven ground.
Going a little faster keeps me from falling on uneven ground.
The basket is convenient for carrying tools, animal feed, & all kinds of things from barn to building to house. Right now, I’m still in a boot from breaking the bone in my foot on my Pedego, so the tricycle saves me from walking so much.
So, from mountain bikes to road bikes to electric bicycles to a tricycle.
It’s been a TRIP! I’m still learning & having fun. I must admit that 10 or 20 years ago, I would never have believed I’d be riding a tricycle!
But I’m still riding by golly, and I’ll be 76 in 2 months!Donna Hobbs, Ohio, Colorado