Imagine skiing on asphalt or flying on the ground, and then you can begin to imagine the sensation of riding a Trikke, the three-wheeled carving vehicle manufactured in Buellton, soon slated for global recognition and recreation. Somewhere between an electric bicycle, a pair of skis, and a Segway, the Trikke is a motorized vehicle developed by CEO Gildo Beleski, who has been running the 12-person-strong company with wife and business partner Ana D’Arace in their wine-country warehouse/workshop since first developing a prototype in his native country, Brazil. With a new Trikke amusement park scheduled to open in May 2017 outside Guangzhou, China, The Santa Barbara Independent decided it was high time to try out the transport device.
Riding a Trikke, simply put, is a lot of fun. Steered by the kinetic movement of carving curves and turns by a lean of the knees, the body- and battery-powered machine was crafted by Beleski as a way to emulate the experience of skiing and skateboarding without the awkward or hazardous imbalances — and with extra oomph. The Trikke really flies, almost akin to the Return of the Jedi speeder bikes zipping through redwood trees. With top speeds exceeding 30 mph and future models intended to be even faster, the street-legal vehicles are gaining popularity both as a commuter vehicle and a security transport, with models such as the Defender.
While the Trikke is already a popular tourism transport in places such as Hawai‘i, the Dominican Republic, and Greece, the Chinese attraction will feature multiple tracks for downhill racing as well as a skate-park-style area, off-road-style Trikke riding, drifting, e-racing, a Jet Ski–style Trikke water park, a Monster Trikke arena, and more.
Give it a try yourself in Buellton. Who knows? It could very well be the best new way to get around wine country.
597 Avenue of the Flags, Buellton; (805) 693-0800; trikke.com