By Keith Strange Staff Reporter
September 1, 2013
Downtown Mount Airy was once again rumbling Saturday morning as dozens of three-wheel trikes paraded down Main Street.
The event was part of this year’s East Coast Trike-In at Veterans Park, an event sponsored by the North Carolina Chapter of the Brothers of the Third Wheel.
For the past three years the event has been held in Mount Airy, said State Director Tim Nine.
Nine said the group chose the Granite City due to its friendly atmosphere.
“This event started in my garage in Franklinton,” he said Friday. “We’ve held it on Grandfather Mountain, Morganton, Ashboro and Fontana, but it’s been in Mount Airy for the past three years.”
For Nine and the members of the Brothers of the Third Wheel, no host city has been as welcoming as Mount Airy.
“The town itself is very friendly, and has made us feel more than welcome,” he said.
He credits the Chamber of Commerce and police department with the decision to continue to come to the city.
“They help us out with whatever we need,” he said. “Anything we need we can call them, whether it’s escorts for the parade, blocking traffic for our charity ride or anything. They’ve made us feel like we’re at home here. It’s like we’re picking up the phone and calling a friend.”
The weekend event is filled with the predictable. Charity rides, rallies and trike shows were the theme.
But it’s the bucolic atmosphere and friendliness of the people that continues to pull them back to the area.
“There’s so much to see and do here that we just love coming to the area,” Nine said as a trike rumbled by. “We have social events, karaoke and games for the kids. There’s a lot going on.”
Nine said he estimated that about 80 trikes turned out for this year’s Trike-In.
Nine was pragmatic in explaining why many choose three wheels over two.
“A lot of our members are a little older and aren’t comfortable on two wheels any more,” he said as he sat on his trike tricked out to look like a Roman chariot — complete with horse. “There are so many motorcycles on the road that people don’t pay attention any more, but a trike is noticed more and if you’re noticed by others on the road, you’re going to be safer overall.”
And from trikes cobbled together out of car parts to themed trikes, all were on display at the park.
“Pretty much all of them are one-of-a-kind,” he said. “A lot of them are home built, and everyone wants to customize it and make it theirs. Every trike is as unique as the person riding it.”
But more than anything, trikes are about having fun, Nine said, noting that not everyone rides just to be safer.
“Some people may think that people who ride trikes are just old folks who can’t handle a two-wheel bike anymore but that’s simply not true,” he said. “We have some members who ride their trikes in a wheel chair, but others, including myself, ride them because they’re fun.”
As another one-of-a-kind trike wheeled by, Nine smiled.
“Most of us are just young at heart,” he said. “We’re kids who haven’t grown up, so we came here to have fun, meet old friends and make new ones.
“And we’re certainly doing that.”
Reach Keith Strange at firstname.lastname@example.org or 719-1929.