In a small coastal town on the northern rivers of Tasmania, 20km east of Devonport, residents and tourists are intrigued by a spritely 73-year young woman seen riding an electric semi-recumbent tricycle through parks and along waterways.
When this news reached us, we couldn’t resist the temptation to sit and chat with this interesting woman and share her story with you.
Eighteen months ago, Dawn, a life-long resident of Port Sorell, was suffering with debilitating knee pain, finding it increasingly difficult and painful to walk.
Determined to not let her sore knees get in the way of her love for the outdoors, Dawn looked into cycling.
Having never ridden a bicycle in her entire life, Dawn learnt to ride a two-wheeler. However, she felt unsafe, finding that it was too high for her to manoeuvre, stop and get off easily.
Being well aware of her age and the possible outcome should she fall from a bicycle, Dawn continued to search for a solution. After a short while, she came across semi-recumbent e-tricycles. Dawn was excited as she figured ‘three wheels have got to be better than two!’
Dawn’s first contact was with a company selling semi-recumbent e-trikes in Holland. She was told the trike would cost her $15,000, and that was before shipping costs. This was out of the question for Dawn.
Then, along came Blind Freddy eBikes in Brisbane, Queensland. Dawn found the staff at Blind Freddy eBikes to be very easy to deal with. She felt they listened to her needs and were committed to ensuring she was informed every step of the way and satisfied with her purchase. To top it off, the Blind Freddy semi-recumbent e-tricycle was a third of the price of its overseas competitor, being a lot more affordable and accessible, being within Australia.
Dawn certainly lights up as she talks about her Blind Freddy semi-recumbent e-tricycle. It has provided her with independence, a sense of overall well-being, and she can cycle without knee pain.
Dawn particularly likes the fact that when she stops, she still has a seat, so there’s no risk of her knees collapsing underneath her as what might happen on a conventional bicycle.
The e-trike is close to the ground so it’s easy for Dawn to get on and off, and she says it has wonderful brakes and excellent suspension. Dawn also mentions that the battery life is very good but points out that even if the battery does run out, the e-trike is easy to pedal home.
Dawn rides between 15 to 20 kilometres every day, weather permitting, with her legs pedalling the whole way, and she can crank her e-trike up to around 30km/hr. She can’t say she likes the feel of the wind in her hair as she still needs to wear a helmet, but she does love the wind and fresh air on her face, albeit freezing cold some days.
The paths along the beach and waterways are Dawn’s most popular routes, but some people have met her off-road, along bumpy gravel and rocky paths in the local national forest, of which the e-trike handles extremely well.
As Dawn rides around her beloved hometown, she is often stopped by inquisitive bypassers who are intrigued (and very impressed) by her clever mode of transport, often allowing serious lookers to have a quick try.
Dawn is so happy with her Blind Freddy semi-recumbent e-tricycle and her new-found freedom, she often finds excuses not to go home!
It was an inspirational time spent chatting with Dawn. There’s certainly no stopping her, and her story of determination and willingness to take on a new challenge can only be an encouragement to others. Thanks so much, Dawn… Keep Triking!