While the men were risking their necks on the high wheels, ladies, confined to their long skirts and corsets, could take a spin around the park on an adult tricycle. These machines also afforded more dignity to gentlemen such as doctors and clergymen. Many mechanical innovations now associated with the automobile were originally invented for tricycles. Rack and pinion steering, the differential, and band brakes, to name a few!
A tricycle (often abbreviated to trike) is a three-wheeled vehicle. While tricycles are often associated with the small three-wheeled vehicles used by pre-school age children, they are also used by adults for a variety of purposes. In the United States and Canada, adult-sized tricycles are used primarily by older persons for recreation, shopping, and exercise. In Asia and Africa, tricycles are used primarily for commercial transportation, either of passengers in pedicabs, or of freight and deliveries.
What is it? The Trikke (pronounced "trike") is a human powered, three-wheeled cambering (carving) vehicle that utilizes conservation of angular momentum to allow a rider to propel forward. The rider alternates leaning side-to-side to move forwards. The area needed to move forward is roughly the width of a downtown sidewalk (1-1.5 m).
Pickering Wind Tricycle
Gelatin silver print
6.5″ x 7.5″
National Air and Space Museum,
National Air and Space Museum Archives
Accession no. 85-10832
Unidentified man wearing overalls and cycling cap poses as if riding a Pickering Wind Tricycle along a dirt track, probably a racetrack. The apparatus was built by William H. Pickering, of Boston, Massachusetts.