I've been spending so much time out riding my trike lately that tend to forget what an odd contraption it must seem to the casual observer. The typical responses I've noticed fall into categories. The kids, for the most part, either call out "Cool bike!" or whisper to themselves "cool" or, if they are riding a bike, they stare with their mouths hanging open and put themselves on a collision course with me. Then there are the true zealots, like the nine-year-old last weekend who chased me on foot for an eighth of a mile shouting out questions all leading up to "How can I get one?" (For the sake of his parents, I told him it came all the way from Florida and was hopelessly expensive.)
The adults are more subtle in their reactions but their faces speak volumes. First, there are the people who smile indulgently, aware I'm probably missing a limb or something and consider me brave for soldiering on. Then there are the smirkers who seem to think I'm being willfully eccentric by riding such an over-elaborate machine. Related to them are the folks who ask me if I invented and/or built my trike. This is very flattering and I tend to like these people.
My favorite reaction comes invariably from men over 60, probably with bad backs. You can see the thought process flash across faces. "He's lying down. He looks comfortable... and he's riding a bike." Their eyes widen, their faces brighten. You can just see them considering the possibilities.