My decorated tricycle

It may surprise some of my readers to learn that my vintage Speedwell loopframe was not my first red bike (though I use the term “bike” loosely as I am not referring to a two wheeled vehicle but a three wheeled one, as the title of this post implies). Not only that, but my initial red steed was the object of some fame in its early days…

I entered it into a bike decorating competition in one of the towns where I grew up – Inverell, NSW. Inverell has an annual festival called the Floral Festival.  This festival is still celebrated and apparently it still has cycle related festivities.

Anyway, back in 1961, I was told about the competition at school and that the entrants would take part in the annual Floral Parade along the main street.  I came home and told my mother about it and pleaded that we enter me and my red tricycle into the parade. The result:

 Apparently, it was a neighbourhood task to decorate the trike like this, with not only my mother, but others also contributing to the gorgeous, flowery result. When we had photos taken, my little sister, not to be left out, demanded that she and her dinky be included:

I did not win, although I did get an honourable mention in the parade coverage as I rode along the main street in the parade with the more illustrious entrants on their “two wheelers”. My father was told that there was a conflict of interests, the details of which I do not recall, which meant that they could not award me with the prize, which I am sure I deserved (or maybe my poor mother deserved it).

This bike was a red shiny machine, a Cyclops, I got it brand new and it had a shimmery paint job that I can still remember although I do not remember the festival ride, unfortunately. One especially nice feature was the rear stand which allowed pillion passengers to be carried,  and also the red handgrips with their streamers and handguards, not unlike a sword might have. You can also see that it has a small aerial and little rack at the front, it must have been a classy model with all those features!

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4 Responses to My decorated tricycle

  1. Jess says:

    Hi mum,
    Yes, grandpa has told me that story many times when I have cycled to his house. The next door neighbour at the time, she was a judge in the contest, and may have been a babysitter to you? That was the conflict. That paint job IS amazing isnt it? There’s a brand out now that copies these vintage trikes with the pillion platforms called “radio flyer” I was thinking of trying to track down a second hand one for my son, but have heard that if you teach them to ride a balance bike from age two they can easily transfer to a pedal bike with no training wheels by age four, no dramas. What do u think?

    • Vicki says:

      Thanks for clarifying Jess. the neighbour also helped with the decorating & I am sure she did my makeup too! I think that to go from a balance bike to a two wheeler would be better, the trike had limited use from what I can remember, they only go so fast and have very limited cornering power. Though the rear pillion platform was fun and looking at the front rack you could maybe fit three on the bike altogether, though I don’t remember doing that!

  2. petermc says:

    Very Cute! That tricycle would be worth a couple of hundred today at least in that condition, Vicki. Nice bell too 🙂

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