There’s a perception out there that trikes are for old riders who can’t balance or hold up a heavy Harley because they’re too old or weak.

John Lian, 75, of Reynolds, N.D., surely doesn’t see it that way.

In 1980, Lian crashed his motorcycle in Grand Forks, N.D., which paralyzed him from the waist down. He’s ridden trikes ever since. Customizing the bikes with hand gear shifts and brakes, Lian also has a contraption on the left side of his 2010 Harley-Davidson 103 Trike to stow his wheelchair. Finally, there are the straps around his legs.

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“At about 80 miles per hour my leg starts blowing back, so I’ve got this to keep it from sticking out,” Lian explained while seated atop his bike Wednesday afternoon on Main Street in Sturgis. He started coming to Sturgis in the 1960s, when he worked at the Homestake Mine in Lead, and has continued to ride from his home each year since. Asked about the ride in this year, Lian put it simply:


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Contact Samuel Blackstone at samuel.blackstone@rapidcityjournal.com

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