A Tribute to the Volunteers
By Lynn Huffman
Trikes for Any Age
By Thomas Keating
There's an interesting trend in the world of cycling – one that may be a bit surprising to our readers. Yes, it's the increasing interest in tricycles for any age of trail enthusiasts as well as bicyclists with physical limitations. In the past, we've associated tricycles, three-wheeled cycle configurations with toddlers and the youngest of riders, however new designs and applications are offering new opportunities for their use by other groups desiring to stay active. Perhaps this trend is driven by demographics such as the aging of America or, better yet, a more welcoming environment for bicyclists with physical limitations as well as the sheer versatility of these three-wheeled vehicles. According to industry and trade sources, interest in these devices is on the rise because tricycles have taken on a variety of innovative designs and functions which we'll share with you in the following paragraphs.
The 'Together Tricycle' aka Side-by-Siders
Imagine traversing a scenic bike trail with an innovative side-by-side seat design on a stable and sturdy three-wheeled main frame that actually encourages conversation with your companion, date, child or even business associate. You can actually take in nature's beauty while sharing the experience with the other passenger. Designs offer a tandem or conventional single seat arrangement while offering a host of options such as individual gear selection, padded high-back chairs and ingenious fold-down arm rests. The sample “trike” pictured here is manufactured by Workman Cycles of Conway, SC. Learn more here.
The Adaptive Use Tricycle
Fortunately, the trail-riding experience is increasing with bike enthusiasts who possess a wide range of physical abilities. The sample “trike” illustrated here is the Rifton Tricycle which is specifically designed for cyclists who may need additional support, enhanced alignment, safety belts or refined adjustment features. This product, distributed by Adaptive Mall, affords a therapeutic design while offering an enjoyable outdoor experience to riders with mild to moderate levels of physical difficulty.
More information about the features of this adaptive trike is available here.
Advantages of Recumbent Trikes
Recumbent tricycles offer a unique and healthful benefit to the triking rider because of their purpose-built frame design which enhances stability and safety for the rider. Recumbents allow the rider to peddle without placing excessive strain on muscles and joints. In fact, cycling enthusiasts who suffer from various forms of arthritis, joint discomfort and other physical limitations may want to consider a recumbent design because it offers a full body workout that engages all of the primary muscle groups. Other cyclists may opt for a recumbent because it engages the thighs, calves and glutes without excessive strain. Many recumbents offer the advantages of a small turning radius, higher seating and three-speeds when traversing moderate hills. The sample recumbent trike shown here is offered by Terra Trike of Grand Rapids, MI. Learn more here.
Trail enthusiasts desiring to couple the stability of the tricycle with the versatility and range of the e-bike should look no further than electric tricycles offered by a variety of vendors. The Liberty Trike, manufactured by Electric Bike Technologies, offers a variety of options for most any application from trail riding, to parcel delivery, to simply providing a form of cheap transportation. Electric trikes offer significant advantages for recreation, business and personal mobility. These bikes combine the features of the e-bike (e.g., pedal assist and quick charging batteries) with the stability and comfort of a trike.
E-trikes provide a great option for extending the independence of those who may no longer desire to drive an automobile. Many e-tricycles can be outfitted with large baskets for shopping. Trikes may be well suited for retirement communities. The sample e-trike pictured here is the Liberty Bike of Croydon, PA with more information available here.
The bikes mentioned here do not suggest an endorsement of any specific design or manufacturer. Please also note that the use of adult tricycles may be governed by local ordinances and trail regulations.
Henderson County Rail-Trail
A meeting was not held in October. The next meeting is scheduled for November 9, 2022.
Brevard Ecusta Trail
By Matt Revis
Conception to Construction
The Brevard/Transylvania Ecusta Trail Advisory Board convened on October 26th in a meeting delivering examples of significant progress toward the beginning of design and construction. Rebecca Robinson of Conserving Carolina noted that bids on removal of the trestle over Davidson River are due soon. Award of this contract should occur by the end of this year. Target date to finish this project is the end of February 2023 to avoid any interference with the beginning of trout season. In addition, engineers funded by the FLAP (Federals Lands Access Program) grant will soon begin detailed design work for Trail construction in Transylvania. Necessary collaboration with engineering design on the Henderson County side will assure that the entire stretch of the trail through the two counties will remain consistent in look and accessibility.
Paul Ray (Brevard Planning Department) noted that the NSFLTP (Nationally Significant Federal Lands and Tribal Project Program) grant proposal has been submitted. Approval of this grant would provide significant funding toward completion of the Trail, and Mr. Ray anticipates approval. Reasons for this confidence include less competition from other proposals and a favorable funding match ratio of 60%/40%. Brevard Planning is a co-applicant with the NC Department of Transportation and Henderson County. This represents the first proposal that officially documents collaboration between the two counties covering the entire trail length. Clark Lovelace (TDA) mentioned that the TDA Board supported the grant with $1M and that future contributions for specific purposes were possible.
Mr. Lovelace and Wilson Hooper (City Manager) discussed the need for the Trail to not only provide recreational outlets for residents and visitors but to offer a reliable option for commuting. Citing from the NSFLTP proposal, “When complete, the 18.8-mile Ecusta Trail will dramatically improve regional mobility choices in Henderson and Transylvania counties, making it possible to access Pisgah National Forest, as well as schools, parks, social services, employment, and shopping destinations, by walking and biking.” Board discussion concluded that design of trail access and signage should entice visitors to explore further into Brevard and other attractions in Transylvania County.
Billy Parrish (Blue Zones Project) presented the results of research he and John Ditillo had recently completed regarding potential trailheads, also known as parking and access points. After their original survey, they decided that multiple smaller access options are better than one or two large trailheads. Benefits of smaller trailheads include simpler designs, lower physical impact, and lower cost per access point. Multiple access points can also balance visitor and resident use, avoiding congestion and spillover into adjacent properties. The Advisory Board agreed with this theory.
Mr. Parrish described several potential access spots, most located on property already owned by the city. Options include focusing on the area where the Ecusta and Estatoe Trails will connect near the Mountain Industrial Park, Ecusta Road, and the City Sports Complex and Activity Park. Easy access in this area is favored by Mayor Copelof who stated, “If you have a major recreation center and a new major recreational amenity (Ecusta Trail) – don’t they belong together?” Oskar Blues Brewery has offered cooperation with potential trailheads in this area as their parking is regularly used by bikers.
The Board reviewed next steps to continue progress on Trail development. A lobbying plan to support the NSFLTP proposal is one step. In order to maintain excitement and involvement within the community, a future meeting with adjacent property owners will be scheduled when the engineers finish Trail design work.
November Fundraising Events
Henderson County R-TAC Meeting
November 9, 2022 @ 10:00am – 12:00pm
Open to the public. Meeting in the King Street Meeting Room
Brevard Ecusta Trail Advisory Board Meeting
November 30, 2022 @ 3:30pm – 5:30pm
Open to the public. Meeting at City Council Chambers.
A Salute to Military Cyclists
and All of Our Veterans
By Thomas Keating
The month of November is widely associated with military veterans and their service to the United States. This month we would like to extend a heartfelt salute and our gratitude to veterans and their families and share some history of the military and their bicycles.
Historians have reported that the earliest military bicycles were introduced due to rapid advances in tire and bike frame designs and were adopted by armies throughout the world in the late 1800's. In Europe, bicycle infantry battalions, reconnaissance units and even medical detachments relied upon bicycle transportation in WW I and to a lesser degree in WW II. More recently, Ukrainian “electric cavalry” units have successfully adapted e-bikes for scouting and anti-tank missions in the on-going war with Russia.
Closer to home, recent developments by the U.S. Army's research agency have spurred design innovations for an e-bike designed to deploy with special operations units of the United States such as Navy SEALS, Army Rangers and the Marine Corps Raiders. A tactical e-bike developed by Montague Bikes of Cambridge, MA features a compact foldable design that can be lashed to combat vehicles and air-dropped, or, using a specialized harness, strapped to the backs of deploying paratroopers.
Throughout the world bicycles have served the military for tactical missions and garrison operations. For military bicyclists and all veterans, we salute your service and thank you and your families for your sacrifices in the defense of our Country.
FOET NEWSLETTER CONTRIBUTORS: Bernard Grauer, Lynn Huffman, Tom Keating, Matt Matteson, RJ Miner, Matt Revis and Cindy Ruzak.