Take a complicated subject you know more about than most people, and explain it to a friend who knows nothing about it at all.
How to explain the delights of riding a trike to someone who knows nothing at all about it – and that includes most of my cycling pals, especially if the vehicle in question is a recumbent trike?
The stock phrase “it’s like riding a bike” doesn’t really apply any longer when you go from two wheels to three. Yes, like riding a bike, riding a trike is a skill you won’t lose once you have mastered it, but that is as far as the similarity goes. Put someone who has ridden an ordinary bicycle ( “ordinary” as in standard or usual not “Ordinary” as in a penny-farthing or high-wheeler) on a tricycle and they have great trouble controlling it. You have to unlearn the method used to steer a two-wheel bike by leaning.
The amazing thing is that once on a recumbent trike this doesn’t apply. It is so very different from a bicycle that steering is learnt from scratch. Many years ago we went on a short holiday where we were given the chance to ride a lot of different recumbent trikes. At that time I was an average sort of cyclist, commuting to work and riding the back of a tandem at weekends, but even though I had never ridden a trike since I was five, I found no difficulty at all in getting used to the various recumbent trikes on offer,
Fast forward now to the present day: I’ve got a recumbent trike and I wouldn’t be without it. My balance isn’t good enough to get around on two wheels and a trike is my preferred solution. It’s also an instant talking point when I park it outside the supermarket. And I get noticed. Drivers see this peculiar machine, ridden by an eccentric old lady and give me a wide berth. On a bike they used to regularly cut me up. There is nothing like a trike!