Trike Only Trail

* Trike Only Trail Intro * On the Edge Trail * Visitors on the Bent Trails * Thomas, Jack, and Jordan *

* Trike Only Bridge * Tunnels, Holes, and Labyrinths * Magic Carpet Ride *

* Introduction * Wheels in the Garden * Wheels Outside the Garden * Garden Trails *

I've been obsessed with making trails all my life, from growing up deep in the hardwood forests of New Jersey to the evergreen foothills of Western Washington. When we moved here to my folks garden in 1996, I immediately began building more trails, so that now there is a network of more than two miles. My father created meandering lawns as paths and built the gravel paths for garden visitors to view the rhododendrons. I added interior trails for a different perspective, so that viewers are under the plants and seeing branch structures from within. The two independent sets of paths remind me of a metaphor explaining matter and anti-matter: like two worms eating two sets of tunnels all throughout an apple but never connecting with each other. Since the paths are on a two dimensional plane, that is impossible, but it still feels like two completely different gardens. Maybe a better metaphor: the garden is person and the external paths are the conscious life, while the internal ones are the subconscious. And since consciousness is not an either or but many levels, I took the trails one level deeper.

All the trails are suitable for strolling or biking, but the newest can be navigated only by remcumbents. They carry the perspective idea one step further. Branches are pruned to a three foot height, so that the ride is like going through a tunnel.

They are not meant to be exclusionary, but the low ceiling height makes walking or mountain biking a little precarious.

In some places, I carved out openings in the shape, as well as the height, of a trike rider. Here the triangular hole fits 20 inch wheels at the bottom, then tapers for shoulders and finally a head.

The trail is only a month old, so it is somewhat raw at the moment. Pruning gives it a general shape, but like the other internal trails, its real form will develop over several years as the plants continue to grow around it.

Like the other interior trails, you see green plant structures when you pedal through a maze of trunks.

Trail width is narrow in places, but not so tight to require any precise handling. This ride is meant to be enjoyable, not a skill test.

A helmet is hardly necessary on a trail where you don't go over five mph, except when you forget to duck for branches that were too large to prune high enough.

Sometimes the parallel world of the bent trail is close to external gravel paths; at other times they meander off into remote territory.

And occasionally, unlike the apple worm tunnels, they intersect that other world. Here the bent trail meets a more open interior path. Below, it crosses a gravel path.

The recumbent trail is a different kind of trike experience. I still like a high speed downhill descent on a mountain road or a cruise on the bike trails, but this is a great way to feel the intimacy of your surroundings that a recumbent's design makes possible.

Exiting the recumbent trail to an interior trail