Voorpret. The interest is awakened and the trip finally planned.
We had been interested in recumbent tricycles for a while, since briefly meeting a German couple in Denmark in the summer of 2006. That autumn we went to the Bike Motion Cycling Fair in Utrecht and came across some trikes made by the British based KMX company. Those trikes were designed to be used like BMX bikes but they had a top of the range model with a good set of gears and brakes, that could in theory be used as a tourer. Our interest was further fuelled by a ten minute session whizzing and skidding round the small test area in the hall.
During our spring 2007 trip to Essen to the bike show there, we were able to try a HP Velotechnik Scorpion (new model with folding frame and front suspension) and one of the standard Trice NT models in the exhibition hall. Fun that they seemed to be, we decided we would need a lot more experience with recumbent trikes before we could commit to buying any. We also came across the heavy but seemingly indestructable Utopia Gecko (now renamed Timor for some reason or other) folding bike with a Rohloff. So after trying out the trikes, we added them and the 'Gecko' to our list of possible replacements for our touring bikes. These joined a VSF bike, SP/modified Bromptons and the German Birdy.
A little later in the year Damae stumbled by chance on a shop in De Bilt not far from where we live that specialised in recumbent cycles (sadly now ceased trading). She had discovered that they hired recumbents out and could rent us a HP Velotechnik Scorpion and a Trice NT sport model. So we quickly planned in a long three day weekend cycling with them. Besides learning what trikes were like as a form of transport in general, we had a couple of other specific goals in mind. One was to see how it was climbing hills on trikes; another how they went downhill; and the last was whether they worked well off-road.
This meant we had to head out to the east of the Netherlands as the Randstad has a paucity of hills, the only ones being the dunes on the coast. We'd already cycled this part of the coast at Easter so didn't want to do it again so soon. Damae then decided it would be nice if we could visit her Oma either on the way there or back. So a plan was hatched to head out to Harderwijk via Amersfoort and then out to Zwolle and then turn south down the Ijssel towards Deventer. We also realised that we would be able to visit friends in Nijmegen so phone calls were made and we agreed to turn up on the third day (the Monday) for breakfast.
In the end we didn't quite manage that route for various reasons, none of them due to mechanical failure of the trikes. Still, the route we did do was lovely and certainly with the range of terrain, a good test for a new sort of cycling.
As it turned out we were able to pick up the trikes on the Friday evening, which was useful. The gentleman at de Ligfietser fitted the trikes with SPD pedals we bought from them and also fitted a cycle computer to the Trice for the weekend. The booms were adjusted to give us the right pedal to sea adjustment which meant that we did not switch trikes during the weekend. It was just a bit too much hassle to do it. Then with just a little trepidation we cycled carefully home, getting our first taste of how the trikes handled.