Most of us start riding a bicycle on three wheels, a trike, and then progress to two wheels once we have the balancing thing mastered.
Some ride their two-wheelers into adulthood.
As we age, we find body-parts aren’t feeling as good as they did when we were younger; our shoulders, knees, neck and back start degenerating and riding two-wheelers just isn’t fun anymore, sitting on a skinny seat, putting a lot of pressure on our upper body to stay upright on the bike.
The good news is age and sore body parts don’t have to keep us from bike riding.
We can gracefully start riding a trike again – in the form of a recumbent bike.
Hugh Kern opened AlphaBent cycles in Sacramento recently at 1114 C Street, across the street from The Globe Mills apartment complex.
This is his third location. The other two are in Chico, 90 miles north of Sacramento and Dixon, 7 miles west of Davis, CA.
"A lot of people can’t ride a bike anymore," Kern explained. "They can’t ride a bike anymore because it hurts."
"Their neck, their wrists, the seats, some lose their balance, some have had a stroke. Lots of things can happen in our life," Kern said. "These eliminate the element of balancing and still being able to cycle."
Kern said he started out selling trikes 12 years ago in Chico. He had just one trike in his store.
And things took off from there.
His second shop opened in Dixon and he has now moved to Sacramento, a bicycle city.
Bicyclists don’t have to give up biking as they grow older or suffer injuries.
Kern said he set up a trike for a Vietnam vet with one leg and one hand, so he made a one-legged, one-handed trike for him.
"It was a long time ago," Kern said. "I’ve got a video of him on Facebook."
A basket can be added behind the cyclist. A windshield in front.
The standard styles weigh around 38 pounds and the lightweight ones are 30 pounds and more expensive.
Kern offers bikes from all over the world – America, Germany, England, Austalia, Taiwan.
"When people come into my shop, they can’t believe it," Kern explained. "They thought they’d have to order something. They say, ‘wow, I had no idea you had all these things.’"People can try the bikes out. Get a helmet, mirrors, whatever is needed.
Glenn Vox, a customer who bought his new bike a week ago, dropped in for some parts.
He’s been riding on the river trail.
Vox says he doesn’t see any problems with his knees and shoulders using his recumbent. He plans on riding 10 or more years.
He said he loves it.
Kern can modify and repair bikes if needed.
It’s worth a stop and see.