The Trikke ride that changed their lives

Originally published by TrikkeWorld Magazine on May 26, 2012

The May 2011 monthly ride in Long Beach drew 45 riders.

In the spring of 2011, the known population of the Southern California Trikke community was perhaps forty people and a monthly event called the Last Saturday of the Month Ride had occurred three times, drawing a total of 29 riders. Then May rolled around and the LSM Ride in Long Beach proved to be a watershed moment for the So Cal carving scene. 

Forty-five riders showed up that day, setting an attendance record (which still stands) for a group Trikke ride in Long Beach. The event also kicked off a blockbuster summer for local carvers. The next two LSM Rides drew 41 and 39 riders respectively, and attendance has increased in general for nearly every ride held since.

On top of that, the population of the local community has at least doubled to more than 80 people since last year’s May LSM, according to recent estimates by the new club So Cal Carvers.

But the record-setting event was about more than numbers. For some, that day in May of 2011 is a day to be remembered for milestones of a more personal nature. Plenty of so-called newbies attended the ride. Some of them have disappeared from the Trikke world. Some of them have become regular fixtures, transforming the local carving scene, as well as their own lives.

Here now, in their own words, the stories of some of the people who were forever changed after last year’s May LSM Ride in Long Beach:

Jenard de Castro:

I have to admit, before the May LSM in 2011, I was still pretty green. After the morning riding clinic that Fred [Welch of the Trikke Academy] performed, it really opened my eyes to the joys of carving.

That LSM was truly magical. I have never seen sooo many people riding Trikkes. It was really awe inspiring, trying to keep up with the pack going around the lagoon and up to the lighthouse. The one thing that kept me going was seeing everyone with giant grins on their faces while they carved, which was infectious. Before that, I never really smiled and always had a stoic, mean glare that usually got me in trouble.

This anniversary means the start of another year of being with friends who are fun-spirited, full of energy, and so enamored with this unique, fun fitness machine that brought us all together.

Monica Jeffries:

Last May, I was 270 pounds and — underneath my happy exterior — pretty miserable because of how overweight I had let myself become. My husband, Quincy, convinced me to try the Trikke to get me into some kind of fitness routine. We bought two T12s from Andy [Pliska of South Bay Trikke] and the Memorial Day weekend LSM was my first Trikke ride.

It did not go well and I wanted to give up.

Today, a year later, May 2012, I am now 190 pounds and LOVE to Trikke. I feel happy, knowing I made a lifestyle change to improve my health. Trikke is the best low impact, full body workout ever!

I am thankful that Quincy pushed me to buy a Trikke and keep at it. There is nothing like the Trikke family I’ve grown to love and appreciate. The support from them is amazing and keeps me focused on my healthy lifestyle.

Rich Goff:

My first LSM was a week after I purchase a T8. How has it changed me? In March, 2009, I had a triple coronary bypass. My weight had become an major issue. The cardiologist said it was time to eat less and exercise more. I was outside all the time as a PONY baseball director but I wasn’t exercising. I dieted and dropped a lot of weight but couldn’t find an exercise I could do consistently.

Then, one day I was walking and saw two ladies on Trikkes. They were totally new to riding but loving it. This planted a seed. I went on the internet and got info on the Trikke. That same month, I bought my own and took off like a bird. A dodo! I sure couldn’t fly. I bounced so many times, I thought I was a rubber ball.

The chance to ride with others is what saved me. I’m not a gifted athlete. I don’t have great balance and the transition wasn’t easy. But I don’t tend to give up easily. So the May LSM is quite a milestone for me. I’ve logged a ton of miles this past year. I’ve done rides way over my head (Aliso Creek, Buellton, and Devil’s Canyon, for examples).

After my first LSM, I had to go home and take a nap — after once around Rainbow Lagoon! The people I ride with have been my blessing. They have been so willing to help me grow. I wouldn’t be still carving, were it not for the friends that have been my true buddies. Thank you all!

Pam McKeever (and John McKeever):

I started riding in April, 2011, two months after my gnarly back surgery (eight screws and two rods, yikes!). I found Trikke because of Debbie Bumgardner’s fabulous LA Times article. After my big surgery, she gave me hope that I might recover and get fit, using this strange and wonderful vehicle.

I searched for a trainer and asked John to go with me (to see if he could ride it, since I thought I couldn’t until late summer). He agreed and really enjoyed it, while I fell in love right then and there, even though I couldn’t ride yet! So, of course, I bought the Trikke right on the spot “for John.”

The next day, we took it to our friends, Susie and Stan, and within days, they went right out and bought theirs! By now, I was the only one without a Trikke. That lasted about a week until I bought my Trikke and started riding with the Corona Gang.

Then I discovered the May LSM Ride on the South Bay Trikke site and emailed them, asking if it was doable for me and the gang. Both Andy [Pliska] and Irene [Tice] wrote back, “yes, yes, yes,” and the rest is history.

John and I truly enjoy being able to do this together and so very often. The best part is the fabulous Trikke community we’ve come to know and love. I don’t even remember that I’ve had back surgery! I’ve returned to skiing (and the Trikke Skki!), dancing, traveling, Trikke Riding Skkool, etc. etc. etc..

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