By MIA BASS
Mike Millican, better known as “Trike Mike,” has logged 8,400 miles on the tricycle—and that was just his first trike. He’s lost 90 pounds in the eight years since he started biking between his apartment near Homewood Central Park, the Homewood Senior Center and Our Lady of the Sorrows, where he works and attends mass daily.
“I get up between four and five every morning,” Millican said. “I go anywhere with my trike.”
He jokes that when he dies, he wants the trike on his tombstone.
Once he arrives at the Senior Center, Millican loves to work out, play Wii Bowling and make pottery. The Senior Center is also where he met and began ballroom dancing with Jeanie Wade. He’s proud of his three pairs of dancing shoes—one zebra print, one black alligator and one red and black.
Thursday nights are his date nights with Wade at Edgewood Creamery for a little indulgence after riding his trike. Millican’s favorite is half peanut butter fudge and half banana pudding.
Former Homewood Senior Center Director Barbara Pilato knew that Millican, who cannot drive, needed something after he lost his mother in 2003. Millican had cared for her from the time he was 15 until he was 57.
Pilato and Millican’s cousin Bobby Walker began collecting money for a trike. In Christmas of 2003, they threw a party and presented Mike with his trike. When that trike began breaking down, Father Martin Muller and Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church invested in another trike for Mike.
For the past several years Millican has decorated his trike for the Christmas parade and has won awards for the Senior Center.
When Pilato was severely injured in a biking accident in 2006, Millican took care of her trash and grass during her six-month recovery. Her accident inspired Millican to participate in the Ride of Silence, which promotes awareness of bicycle safety and honors those injured or killed in accidents.
This summer, the brake in Millican’s trike broke, and he was unable to ride for three weeks. The guys at Cahaba Cycles were able to repair the trike, and Millican is happy to be riding again.