Tuesday, September 2, 2008

1st Annual International Trike Riders Rally in Sikeston MO

Finally, my belated posting on the trike rally my wife and I attended in July. You can read earlier "diary posts" I made in near real time during the rally.

Out Bound
We left home on Monday the 21st planning to arrive in Sikeston on Wednesday, the day before the rally started on the 24th. Not wanting to retrace a previous route to MO (see Trip to Oz), we traveled through Ohio and Indiana into Missouri. Ignoring the 2nd morning of rain, the trip to MO was simply spectacular. Especially riding Indiana back roads among the myriad corn fields, the vivid blue sky, temperate weather, and relative lack of traffic made this portion of the trip almost magical.

Leaving home:

On the road wardrobe change:

Cooling our heels waiting on road work:

At the rally
Overall, the rally was enjoyable. It was not overly crowed--one rally official indicated about 300 trikes attended--and the facilities--the fair grounds adjacent to the regional airport--were good. We met a number of interesting trike riders including one trike-builder who rode in from Wisconsin on his 17th, home-built trike. His wife and son also attended on trikes he designed and built.

Only a few vendors showed up which was a bit disappointing--we were ready to buy stuff :). But this is the 1st rally and no doubt it will grow larger each year. A trike dealership from Kansas came offering test rides on a new line of 7/8th-sized trikes made by Ridley. These trikes are sized perfectly for smaller riders, inexperienced riders, and noteworthy in that they use an automatic transmission--no clutch, no shifting.

Less than half a dozen two-wheelers showed up, mine among them. I wasn't made to feel out of place and more or less was invisible. This is an effect I've noticed for some times since my wife started riding a trike: everyone is interested in the lady on the trike...no one cares about the dude on the bike. Nonetheless, the friendliness of trike riders and especially those that attended the rally is noteworthy.

We spent some time riding the flat terrain in and around Sikeston. I don't recommend the area as ideal for motorcycling. I don't fancy roads that travel off to the horizon in a straight line.

I do recommend eating at Lambert's where you're likely to get beaned by a flying bread roll. Please note that there's almost always a line waiting to get inside and the portions are so large that finishing a meal is difficult.

At the rally:

A triked Rune (!!):

It's a helmet!

Automatic, low to the ground, light weight, small size:

Yes, it does have air conditioning:

Long and straight (and boring) roads:

A local landmark:

Good Moments
Taking 3 days to return, we again made great efforts to not retrace a previous route. We left Sikeston for Chattanooga on day 1, north to Martinsville, VA on day 2, and then on to home on day 3. Over the course of the three days, we traveled through much more urban areas than our ride to Sikeston. While not as idyllic as the outbound leg, the return home was nice in that we got to see places we hadn't before. Plus, there's no place like home after being gone for a week.

To recap, here's a non-inclusive list of the good moments of this trip:
  • Riding
  • Talking to trike riders
  • Talking to trike builders
  • Stopping for a break once every hour
  • Seeing the country side
  • Eating a large chicken fried steak
  • No helmet law states

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