A couple of recent conversations have got me thinking. It involves the integration of two separate cycling topics.
- Firstly, in Denmark (arguably the cycling capital of the world) one of the big trends in recent years has been cargo bikes. These are very popular with young families and are considered 'cool'.
- Secondly, our compulsory helmet laws only apply to bicycles (two wheels) and not to cycles with one, three or more wheels.
So the thought hit me that those of us who would like to legally choose when to wear a helmet while cycling might be able to somehow wiggle through this gap in our fickle helmet law.
I quickly dismissed the unicycle option and placed it in the 'too hard basket' and moved on to the tricycle option. This raises the question "what is the legal definition of a tricycle"? Is there one? Well obviously a tricycle requires three wheels but how big does the third wheel have to be? Does it even need to touch the ground? I am presuming that it has to be an integral part of the vehicle and not simply a 'bolt on'. Ideas anyone?
Of the dictionary definitions I have unearthed most identify a tricycle (or trike) as "a vehicle with three wheels" and not much more. They can be powered with your feet or hands, or a motor. Three wheeled cycles fall into categories such as cargo bike (two wheels at front), and rickshaw or pedicab, recumbent and classic tricycle (two wheels at back). I have pretty much discounted pedicabs and recumbents as I think I would have trouble getting them in my apartment lift. But there are distinct possibilities with tricycles and cargo bikes.
(photos courtesy of Copenhagen Cycle Chic)
In NZ tricycles have a bad rap as vehicles for the disabled but realistically the only difference that I can see from cargo bikes is the position of the twin wheels ... so, tricycles are available in NZ but, the million dollar question is, "is it possible to make a tricycle cool?" Three wheeled cargo bikes are not available in NZ (as far as I know) so the questions there are "how hard can it be to put the wheels on the front?" and "can we start a cargo bike trend in NZ?"
We even have a company that makes tricycles in NZ - I wonder whether they would be interested in becoming 'cool' and positioning themselves in the front row for the next big cycling trend on this side of the globe?
It's just a thought .....