I’m always delighted and intrigued when I encounter someone doing the unusual. Last Thursday Linda and I were sitting in our car on the parking lot at Skaha Lake, drinking coffee and eating sandwiches. A cool breeze was blowing off the lake and except for an occasional warmly bundled walker, no one else was at the beach. When an SUV pulled up near us I became curious.
Two boys got out of the vehicle and opened the rear door. They were actually in the middle years, but I call them boys because I quickly learned they were there to have fun.
They pulled an electric trike out and the bigger one mounted it and began racing around on the parking lot. He was obviously enjoying the ride. When he handed the trike to his friend, I went over and asked him about it. I learned that his name is Jon and he is age 50. His friend Craig is 45. Usually it’s only young children who ignore the cold and play anyway.
Jon was the owner of the trike and he was happy to talk about it. “It cost me $1600 U.S.” he said. “The charge takes 3 hours and then it will go about 30-45 minutes. Top speed is probably 20-25.” I didn’t ask if that was kilometres or miles but watching, I think it may be the latter.
“The first time I rode ,” Jon said, “I tipped it and scraped quite a strip of skin off my buttocks. My wife considered that pretty hilarious.” In retrospect he seemed fine with this. Maybe not so much at the time.
As we chatted, Craig braked hard, turned the front wheel sharply and instantly reversed direction. I wonder if he scraped any skin off his behind the first time he tried that fancy little maneuver. While Craig continued to press the limits with the trike, Jon told me a little about himself.
He had just returned from Rio. When I asked if he’d been on a holiday he said, “No, I have a 3-4 year contract there to drill impossible wells. I recently completed a 3 year contract in Malaysia. I mostly do consulting now, telling the operators how to do it.”
Turning my attention back to the trike, I asked Jon if he ever rides on the street. “Only late at night when there’s no one else out there,” he said. That’s wise. The trike is so low a driver might think it was a shadow streaking along.
He has two sons, ages 3 and 6. The older boy is eager to ride, but at this time he still has to settle for a spin sitting on Dad’s lap.
I clicked a few photos and Jon handed me a helmet. “Want to have some fun?” he asked. I didn’t attempt Craig’s quick turn around trick, but for a few minutes on that awesome electric trike I experienced the sense of adventure I often felt when I was a boy. Thanks Jon and Craig, for reminding me of what it was like to be young.