Monday, September 17, 2012

My back hurts; should I take to a trike?

Here's a look at Harley-Davidson's $31,000 trike.
Both my wife Bonnie and daughter Anna sent me the recent New York Times article about aging baby boomers giving up their two-wheelers to ride trikes.

Baby boomers suffering from bad knees, bad backs and big butts "have abandoned their traditional two-wheel motorcycles in favor of three-wheelers, the super-steady and seemingly safer machines commonly known as trikes," Jesse McKinley wrote in The Times.

My first reaction: What are my wife and daughter trying to tell me?

My second reaction: Gee, those things are ugly.

1959 Royal Enfield based Indian Patrol Car looked tidy.
Naturally, I exempt all things Royal Enfield from this description. I happen to think that the Royal Enfield based Pashley tricycle is a handsome machine, looking like a Bullet up front and an Indian Patrol Car in the back. It somehow extracts a reverse gear from the traditional Albion transmission!

But those vintage tricycles are rare (from the 1950s), slow (the 350cc single) and, I suspect, poorly sprung.

Not the things to cushion a bad back. Which — suddenly — I have.

I was in the garage Sept. 15 adding air to tires with a bicycle pump when the first stroke produced a stabbing pain in my back. I could barely stand. I could hardly walk into the house. The tire pump is still on the floor of the garage where I dropped it.

I'd been planning to take a ride on my Bullet past the community free mulch pile to check if there are any nice looking wood chips I could load into my car for the garden.

I now can not imagine riding the Bullet or even jack knifing my body into the car for a ride to the Emergency Room.

If this pain doesn't depart, I realize, I am facing a life in which I may never load mulch again.

It may be an over reaction but, suddenly, those trikes don't seem so awful looking anymore. Nor am I going to ever again ridicule the possible comforts of the back rest I spotted fitted to a Bullet.

Back rest might be comfy but could I swing my leg over it?
This is a Royal pain.


  1. sorry to here about your back.....I've been there myself.I enjoy your blog every day

  2. Blasco you chump; trying to use a bicycle pump indeed .
    I thought you Americans had all kinds of labour saving gadgetry . Harrumph ! In future get one of the offspring or Mrs Blasco to do it . Or purchase an electric pump with crocodile clips , snap 'em on the battery and watch it vibrate around the floor as the tyre inflates - just the ticket mmmn .
    In the meantime - alcohol - taken internally will alleviate the pain .
    I'm having a large brandy right now in sympathy , let me know if you feel any better as a consequence - haar haaaaar haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaar !!
    If you feel the desire for 3 wheels , make it a sidecar old boy , tricycles are for toddlers - don't yer know .
    Tally Ho ,
    Your servant

  3. Ya, ditch that hand pump and get something easier. Harbor Freight tools has some good and cheap ones....

  4. I have to agree with the major, it's a sidecar or you're stuck with the two wheeler. Find an Interceptor twin to match up a sidecar. With a sidecar you could ride by the mulch and stop to pick it up in one go! Love your blog, David, hope you recover quickly

  5. David I wouldn't give up my back has been killing me on and off for 50yrs and I still can ride. Plus all my bikes are kickstart except for one. You'll recover I'm sure. ERC


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