It is not so common to see a young family with children in a children trailer using a recumbent for travel. Especially not in Eastern European countries, where the purchase of a trike is really expensive. However, the Serbian Kiss family is a wonderful exception. A few weeks ago, you had the opportunity to watch three videos about their expedition through Serbia, and today you get their whole story in the form of an interview in which they mention their views on trikes, Serbia, and traveling with children.
How long have you been using recumbent trikes?
We have only started using recumbent trikes in the summer 2020.
Why did you decide to try and order them?
In our previous cycle tours, we have met people travelling with recumbent trikes on several occasions, and we always had the impression that they were really enjoying it, especially in terms of comfort. I specifically remember one time, in a campsite in Passau, Germany: After a full day of riding our bikes, we were lying on the ground and relaxing, when an older couple arrived on two recumbent trikes. They stopped relatively close to us, and to my surprise, the lady nonchalantly took a book out of her bag and started reading, without even getting up from the trike! At that point, I was so surprised that I decided in my mind – I want that someday!
What is your previous experience with cycle touring?
We have been cycle touring since 2010, in different “configurations”: first with friends, then as a couple, and as of last year – as a family. In these 10 years, we have travelled in different areas of Serbia (our home country) and some other European countries. In the beginning, we joined organized cycle tours in our neighborhood, the type where someone takes your baggage and your only task is to cycle and reach a certain destination by the evening. As a couple, we started taking our own tours and carrying our own baggage, with our longest tour being what we call the Atlantic tour, where, together with a friend, we cycled up the Eurovelo 6 path from Serbia to the Atlantic ocean in France. As the kids came along, we had a break for a few years while they were babies, and last year we decided it’s time to try cycle touring with them. It turned out as a great idea, as we had the best time cycling and camping along the ViaRhona route in France. This leads us to this year when we got the trikes to try something different, and in the world pandemic situation we have, we went for a summer tour close to our home, in Vojvodina, Serbia.
Serbia can offer some amazing untouched nature areas, as well as historical places dating back to the times of the Roman empire
What trikes do you use and did you consider also some other brands/models?
We are using two Steintrikes WildOne trikes, which are produced close to our hometown. Where we live, trikes are very rare, and we didn’t have the option to try a variety of models. We once hosted a cycle tourist from Iran who was travelling on an HP Velotechnic Scorpion trike, and we used the opportunity to try it out “around the corner” and see how it feels to ride a recumbent trike at all. After a while, we learned that a cycling friend in our town rides a Steintrikes WildOne and that he is very happy with it, so we arranged to meet with him and try out his trike, and at that point, we were convinced that it was what we wanted as well. It was kind of a natural choice for us to get the trikes that were made in our neighborhood, but we were also truly impressed with their quality, comfort, and all the customization options that are offered for these trikes. We especially appreciated that they are fully-suspended, which is an important aspect and a guarantee of comfort in a country where we don’t have many paved trails, and I have to say that it was also promising for me to stop being scared of riding on gravel roads (which I am a bit on a standard upright bike).
Did you consider also some two-wheelers?
No, we didn’t consider getting a two-wheeler recumbent bike. For us, the main reasons for getting the trikes were a comfortable ride and stability, and the two-wheelers in our opinion do not offer both. We wanted something really different to our standard upright bikes.