South Bay Trikke closes shop

Will there ever be another ride with over 40 riders, as seen here during the second Labor Day Ride in 2011?
Will there ever be another ride with over 40 riders, as seen here during the second Labor Day Ride in 2011?

South Bay Trikke has closed up shop, did you hear the news? You might have, providing you were the recipient of a dishonest email sent out last week. I wasn’t, but a friend forwarded the email to me. That’s how I found out that Southern California no longer has its very own local Trikke shop.

Kind of reminds me of a recent experience with my cable service, which was bought and sold from one company to another without any heads up to its customers. This lack of consideration has me ready to cut the cord and forgo having cable service, but that’s another story, perhaps for another day.

Today, I want to talk about the way South Bay Trikke has evaporated into thin air without advanced warning or an appreciation of what this means for So Cal Carvers, the informal Trikke club left in the dust by its informal sponsor.

South Bay Trikke’s “Dear John email” paints a very rosy picture, claiming “we’re no longer going to be a brick-and-mortar store, but you’re going to get the same service and support with our new owners, the Trikke Academy.” As if nothing has changed.


Is the new South Bay Trikke going to fix our flats, adjust our brakes, install our new accessories?

Are we going to be able to call up SBT, drive a few miles to another city in Los Angeles County, have our carving vehicles serviced, then be on our merry way, Trikkes all fixed, ready for carving?

Are we going to be able to count on the Las Vegas-based Trikke Academy to organize and participate in group rides here in Southern California?

Is the Academy going to have any role in the Southern California Trikke scene? Is the Academy even going to think of us local riders?

If I were a betting man, I’d put a lot of money on: no.

But you would never know this seismic shift has occurred by reading the “Dear John email.” It claims South Bay Trikke is simply “blending” with the Trikke Academy. What does that even mean?

The notice is cold and emotionless and makes no mention of the local Trikke scene, So Cal Carvers, or the many group rides that have made the area the envy of the global Trikke community.

In fact, the email acts as if we were never here.

South Bay Trikke was a good thing. Having a local shop was of the upmost importance — locally. Ask anyone who’s ever carved more than 1 mile within a 120 mile radius of Torrance. Ask me, the author of An appreciation of South Bay Trikke, a story that appeared in TrikkeWorld Magazine when I was the editor-in-chief.

All of this makes this version of Brexit — Trikke exit? Trexit? — hard to take. But even harder to fathom is the casual way we’ve been tossed aside, like yesterday’s newspaper. For this, I fault South Bay Trikke’s owners, old and new. It’s hard not to believe both weren’t involved in the creation of this desperate ruse. That’s a huge disservice and a huge amount of disrespect to So Cal riders.

Brave new Trikke world

We’re all alone now, So Cal carvers. Just like most riders on the global map, we no longer have a local Trikke shop. On top of that, the community has declined, the population dwindled, the spirit dampened. Is this the beginning of the end for the broken So Cal Trikke circuit?

In June, no Last Saturday of the Month (or LSM) Ride was held for the first time in five years (because unbeknownst to us, SBT — hosts of that month’s ride — had already abdicated its commitment without giving notice). In July, South Bay Trikke closed but not before sending out an email that pretends nothing has changed.

In fact, everything has changed. Our local Trikke ecosystem is now a barren landscape, the fragments that remain broken remnants of what used to be a thriving community.

It is entirely up to us now, as local, passionate riders of Trikke carving vehicles, to organize our rides, to sustain ourselves and keep this local scene going. Our local shop may have disappeared, but it’s up to each and everyone of us to make sure the So Cal Carvers Trikke club and our local group rides don’t disappear as well.

Who’s ready to ride?