TerraTrike: Trikes are NOT Toys

by Janet Bressler-Bilenky


Maybe my enthusiasm for trikes stems from “Danger Trike”, the tricycle I owned as a child.  It was a hand-me down from someone-or-other, but I loved its sleek styling despite its dull-red finish and rusted chrome. Its skinny tires (!) made me feel like a big kid. The tottery pre-CPSC wheelbase would be considered obviously unsafe to the modern parent, but to my three year old eyes it was perfect! When I fell off one day after an especially sharp turn, cut my chin open and needed stitches, Danger Trike was repealed and replaced by an ugly (to me!) brand-new shiny wide-tired model that I outgrew quickly.  


So, here comes TerraTrike, another new exhibitor for the 2017 Philly Bike Expo. TerraTrikes  began making adult recumbent trikes in Michigan 1996.  If your first steed was a Big Wheel, you may be of the “trikes are toys” mindset, however, your Big Wheel experience may already prepare you for adult recumbent design.


TerraTrikes was born when Jack Wiswell sketched his vision on a holiday cocktail napkin and shared the concept with old friend Wayne Oom. Through the inevitable setbacks of a small undercapitalized start-up, Jack and Wayne persevered and now they’re the world’s largest manufacturer of recumbent trikes.


Although they offer some of the most affordable trikes of their kind, they run a contest to see what they might accept in trade from one lucky individual. Entries included everything from musical instruments to vacations to original artwork to membership in the World Clown Association! The most recent winner was an Iowan who offered a year’s supply of her award-winning baked goods in exchange for a trike.


As with the entire cycling community, the folks at TerraTrikes are dedicated to eco-friendly, human-powered transportation. The company slogan is “Part of the Solution.”


Philly Bike Expo strives to have something for everyone. You just might find me in the TerraTrike test ride area come Expo time.