Two weeks before Arizona Bike Week I took my RV out for an adventure to the Wild West a.k.a. Cave Creek, AZ. While there our camp was infiltrated by sword wielding Ninja’s who repelled down from a helicopter and attempted to steal our beer. So I kicked some Ninja butt! I broke my foot in the process. Saved the beer though! (That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it)
WOW! Can you believe it, two broken bones in my left foot, the shift foot. The swelling, the colorful masterpiece that the doc said would keep me grounded for about 4-6 weeks. Damned Ninja’s!
ABW is a riders rally. I love to ride and PEZ has been begging for some real miles. Now I’m forced to the sidelines? You guys know me. The sidelines? NO WAY. The spotlight is where I belong. So I asked the doc if he thought there was any way I’d be riding in two and a half weeks. He said probably not, but my foot would guide me. He assured me I would not be able to do more than my foot could tolerate. Cool! I thought. So for the next couple weeks I imagined the swelling would go down enough so I could wrap it in an ace wrap and slap on that boot and we’d be off. Well, it didn’t quite happen like that. My weight bearing days had not yet begun. Several times during ABW I insisted that a friend take me to get my bike, I’d ride with this cast on. Several times I was reminded of the foolish choice I was trying to make. Well damn it!
Here I am on crutches, a long way from the vendor area, in record breaking heat, holed up in my RV going on day three now, not having a good time. Just when I was ready to pack it in an angel came cruising by on this wicked cool scooter! It wasn’t your ordinary Hoveround power chair. This was kind of like a bicycle/scooter combo with a tall seat and standing feel while sitting. I ran (well hobbled) to my next best friends and excitedly asked “Where’d you get this, are they for rent”? and a bunch of other rapid fire questions. The proud owner of this C.A.T. (Compact Adult Trike) said he was a vendor and sold them but didn’t rent them. The wind was almost sucked out of me but before I would be beaten, I decided to make a deal. After all, this man was an angel so it wouldn’t be like makin’ a deal with the devil (as long as CD bought into it). I slowed down a bit and formally met Hy Faulkner and explained my predicament then offered my deal and he accepted! I was in heaven! Finally I could get out of this hell hole of an RV that got me in this predicament in the first place.
The first order of business was come up with a name for this craft. It looks like it has three wheels, but it really has five. There are two underneath the back platform to prevent any daredevil wheelie action. So it’s not a trike, not a bike, five wheels makes it a “Pentike”. That’s it, the way I would get around Westworld for the next few days would be a Pentike.
This awesome little scooter allowed me to cruise from campsite to vendor village and back again with ease! It handled the gravel of the camp grounds, the electric cord cover strips, the grass and the crowds. I gotta say though, the crowds were the fun part. Not because my Pentike wouldn’t maneuver through them, but I’ll let you imagine the results of letting someone used to a motorcycle enter a crowd at 7 mph on a motorized vehicle with the brake positioned on the left handlebar. Imagine watching people run for their lives as my right hand searched for the brake because my left hand had a beer in it!
Speaking of riding one of these with a beer in my hand – it was pretty cool to be able to join everyone in a beer, which I certainly couldn’t do on crutches. But note to self, tell friends not to jump on the back while cruising along carrying a beer. Results of that action are carrying an empty cup and wearing a beer.
The overall design of the C.A.T. is awesome. To be at eye level with the group rather than staring at their belt buckle in the traditional scooter meant a world of difference! The battery lasted about 6 hours, it made a 360 degree turn within its own footprint, top speed is 16 mph and getting on and off is very easy. There are a couple of design items that I found challenging. First of course was the left side brake. Instinct has me grabbing the brake with my right hand. Plus, that actually means you have to keep both hands on the handlebars (the throttle is on the right) and really can’t cruise around holding a beer, not if you intend to stop. The front wheel drive made it challenging (still manageable) in gravel. I had to lean forward and put weight on the handle bars to prevent doing burn outs. I thought rear wheel drive would make more sense with your weight already on the seat. The price point is perfect for the frequent rally goer! At $1895 you’re cruising around with ease. For rally vendors, this is an ideal option to the cumbersome golf cart. There’s even add an optional wagon.
At this time they aren’t available for rent but that is in the works. A few logistics need to be worked out then you should be able to rent these by the day or weekend to make your rally experience a blast! If you want information on getting your own Pentike (the C.A.T.) check out their website at www.LylaJ.com/cat .
I want to send a special thank you to my ABW angels, Hy and Jackie Faulkner. You guys made ABW an enjoyable experience.
To view the full phto gallery click here.