By Paula Detwiller
There they go again. That man and woman propelling themselves silently along Old Ocean Boulevard on strange, three-wheeled vehicles as the sun rises over the ocean. They stand upright, hands gripping handlebars, shifting their weight back and forth, back and forth, sway, sway, sway. What are those things they’re riding?
Bob Knorr and Linda Scheele are more than happy to tell you about the three-wheelers they ride through Ocean Ridge every morning. Part scooter, part tricycle, the vehicle goes by the brand name of Trikke (pronounced “trike”). Unlike a regular tricycle, it has no pedals.
“You use the same body motion you would to ski or skate,” says Knorr. The rider’s feet are planted on metal platforms above each back wheel. Shifting their weight as they “push off” from one foot platform to the other creates forward momentum, much like speed skating.
“It’s kind of addictive,” Scheele says. “The trick is to get your body in synch with the machine. Once you hit the sweet spot, you feel it.”
Invented by a Brazilian athlete, the Trikke is gaining in popularity among older adults seeking a safe, low-impact, full-body workout.
Danilo Cedeño Jr., co-owner of Hollywood Beach Trikke, says, “Our main clientele are middle-aged people looking for a new way to stay in shape.” Cedeño claims to have sold more than 100 Trikkes since opening his store three months ago.
For people like Knorr, 61, a retired insurance company owner, this new way of staying in shape is more fun — and better exercise — than walking or bike riding.
“It’s a total workout for your legs, hips, and back,” he says. Knorr hangs his heels slightly off the foot platforms, which relieves his plantar fasciitis and “I can really get it going that way.”
He’s been known to reach 15 miles per hour (verified by a friend in a car).
Scheele, who is Knorr’s neighbor in the Murano Bay community of Boynton Beach, is equally enthusiastic. “It’s so fantastic for your joints,” she says. “It keeps everything oiled. I used to get all this neck and shoulder pain, but not anymore.”
A longtime businesswoman (she owns Food Features International and Xbac, LLC), Scheele is an active, youthful 68. She has a total hip replacement, arthritis and degenerative disk disease — but you’d never know it by the way she turns up the heat on her Trikke.
“Women come up to me and say, ‘Gosh, if that can make me look like you, I’m definitely doing it!’ ” she laughs.
The pair’s daily fitness ritual begins at 6:45 a.m. (or “oh-dark-hundred,” as Knorr jokingly calls it), when they load the collapsible Trikkes in Scheele’s SUV and drive to Oceanfront Park. They wave to the park’s morning maintenance crew, jump on the Trikkes and proceed to “carve” (Trikke-speak for the propelling motion) up and down Old Ocean for about 50 minutes, covering six miles.
Along the way they are met with quizzical looks, barking dogs and an occasional snake crossing the road.
Knorr smiles as he adds: “Some people don’t close their blinds when getting dressed in the morning. It’s hard not to notice.”
Scheele isn’t looking in the windows. She’s feeling the rhythm of the Trikke, getting in the zone, planning her day ahead.
“Every morning, to look over while riding this thing and see the sunrise — there’s no better way to start the
Where to Buy
You can buy a Trikke online directly from the manufacturer, Trikke Tech Inc. of Buellton, Calif. (www.trikke.com), or from a local sales representative listed on its website.
Prices range from $220 for the adult-sized introductory model to $600 for the high-performance model.
To test drive a Trikke before purchase, check out these South Florida retailers.
Hollywood Beach Trikke
(Certified Trikke Trainer and Authorized Dealer)
101 N. Ocean Drive,
Brownies Yacht Toys
2301 S. Federal Highway
Fort Lauderdale 33316
Brownies Palm Beach Divers
Riviera Beach 33404