Oct 222011

It’s said to be one of the fastest production trikes that money can buy

If you’re a cyclist who wants to turn a few heads on the road, you should ride a recumbent tricycle … people can’t help but notice something that appears to be a low-riding lawn chair on wheels. If you want to get noticed by other recumbent trike riders, you might look into getting a Catrike 700. With its 700C wheels and relatively light weight of just 33 pounds (15 kg), it’s said to be one of the fastest production trikes that money can buy. However, how do you get noticed by other Catrike riders? Well, you could try equipping your trike with just about every accessory imaginable, all of them in black. That’s what Fayetteville, North Carolina native Jim Artis did with his. The result – which he named “Silk” – looks like something designed for dispatching evil-doers by dark of night, before tearing off in a swirl of dry ice vapor.

Artis, a retired infantryman and grandfather of four, got the initial unadorned Catrike 700 in 2007. It was one of many unconventional pedal-powered vehicles that he has purchased or created over the years. Of his various two-, three- and even four-wheelers, however, Silk is probably the one that most causes people to say “Wow!”

“The beauty of riding a recumbent is that you can do things to it,” he explained to us. “A roadie who rides a Trek or whatever isn’t going to do anything except buy the finest components. Recumbent riders tend to say ‘OK, I have a piece of junk here, and I can put mirrors on it, I can put mud flaps, you know – whatever. You have a license to change, so to speak.”

While the exact configuration of his “piece of junk” is continually changing, some of its past and/or present added touches include:

  • Custom-made Garrie Hill carbon fiber wheel covers
  • GoblinCricket fiberglass rear fairing, with storage compartment and custom graphics
  • Camelbak hydration system (mounted inside the rear fairing)
  • Transparent aerodynamic Mueller XT front fairing
  • 122-decibel police-spec GaleForce electric horn/siren
  • DiNotte 1200L headlight, dual front and rear amber running lights, dual front and rear turn indicators (which double as brake lights in the rear) and DiNotte rechargeable li-ion batteries
  • Solio Hybrid 1000 solar-powered battery charger
  • iHome mobile sound system, with mount
  • Garmin nuvi navigation unit, with mount
  • iPhone 4S, with mount
  • Fenders and side mirrors
  • Custom-embroidered rear panniers
  • Mast with safety flag
  • Dual converted water bottles with mounts, used to store small items

“It’s OK to have a vice,” he explained, “as long as you don’t have several vices in one year.”

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