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Trikke offers fun way to get around, get fit

January 18, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
Commuting across Los Angeles can be painful, but some adventure-seekers are carving their way to fitness and fun by trekking on Trikkes.

"A Trikke is a three-wheel carving vehicle that moves by body propulsion, so we move our entire body to make this vehicle traverse back and forth," said Andy Pliska, owner of South Bay Trikke.

Pliska said the Trikke was invented in 1989 by an extreme sport athlete who liked bombing down hills but needed something better than a bike.

"We go through neighborhoods, the Rose Bowl, beach. It's really relaxing," said Bill Green of Temple City.

"It's more interesting, not so much that it is easy. You can work your tail off, the fun is that it's good to get out each day," said Rich Goff of Azuza.

Today's Trikkes are human-powered, battery-powered, and there's even one for ski slopes.

Kids' level starts at $100 getting up to $750 in the human-powered version, according to Pliska. And it's $1,300 up to $2,200, depending on the motorized version. Don't worry, there are rentals and you can try before you buy.

Depending on the model, the Trikke can go about 24 mph for about 24 miles. But if you run out of battery, it's time to get carving.

"You're leaning and you're carving, so you're using a lot of your obliques and you're using your upper body as well as your lower body at the same time, and you don't even realize it because it is so much fun," said trikke trainer Gina Alo.

Starting on a flat surface is a plus for beginners, because hills are brutal.

"It took me a long time to pick it up," said Goff.

But the scenery is great and the rewards are plenty.

"I started out at 360 pounds, and I'm down to 224 and still working," said Goff.

Green has also seen results.

"My love handles seems to shrink, and my legs are stronger," he said.

Alo said just like learning to ride a bike, there can be some mishaps.

"You can jackknife it if you turn too hard. You can lean back a little bit too far," said Alo.

But with three wheels and a wide triangle shape, the machine is stable.

"It attacks you're whole body, so it's not like you're just beating your legs and it's very melodic-type exercise," said Pliska.

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