Hi all. A few months ago I read a few threads on trikes vs bikes to cruise the playa, and the pros of a trike seemed to be overwhelming. I rescued a trashed industrial trike from the scrap bin at work and stripped, cleaned, painted, replaced, rebuilt, etc. Tonight my efforts culminated in the first test drive of my sweet orange playa cruiser.
Now, after riding it, and trying to maneuver it around, some of the cons are weighing on me, so let's go over what I see as the Pro's first.
1) Can haul lots of crap (ice/beer/moop/whatever) in basket on the back (yet to be installed)
2) Can cruise as slow as you want, even stop without putting feet down.
3) Relatively safe to operate while moderately altered - low risk of falling over.
4) Three tires vs two makes it less likely to sink in dunes (theoretically)
5) Not just another bike (although I'm sure at BRC, it's just another trike)
6) Is rather bulky and recognizable, making thievery more difficult. Locking one wheel would probably be sufficient, as it's difficult to pick up and carry off.
So the cons, that have been so recently reinforced for me are
1) You can't walk the stupid thing! If you want to get off and walk beside it, your heels bang into the back wheels. This is sort of a major point of frustration if you were to break a chain, or get a flat and wanted to walk the thing somewhere. Also, Pro #5 becomes a con in this instance, because you can't carry it either. Anyone have an ingenious solution to this? I was thinking of welding on a tab to the handlebars with a rope attached so I can pull it behind me if I want to. Just need to make sure I attach it in such a way that the thing doesn't wander as it's towed.
2) It has the turning radius of a school bus. Maybe I just am not familliar enough with riding it yet, but it felt like a sharp turn was all but impossible. Sort of a pain in the ass if you're trying to maneuver through tight spaces or between traffic or whatever.
3) Takes up a fair bit of space to transport - I think I can solve this by breaking it down into components, as I probably would a bike anyway, so this isn't a big deal.
4) Single speed drive: I'm not sure this will be an issue if the playa is hard and smooth this year as many say it will be, but the single gear on this particular trike is high enough that escaping from a dune might be a problem without dismounting. The bike I have to compare this against is a decent 21 speed mountain bike so riding it up and down my pea gravel driveway it seemed like a bit of a pig.
Anyone with Playa experience have reassurances or thoughts to add about whether my newfound issues are going to cause me a problem? Would it be worth the hassle to try to fit my regular bike in the equipment list as well?
We wouldn't want to alarm the flock, they might start asking questions.