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Seniors bask in the fun of Trike Fest

Big Cypress team captures championship

BIG CYPRESS — Seniors from Big Cypress, Brighton and Hollywood sparred on the tarmac at the Big Cypress aviation hanger Dec. 7 for the 13th annual Trike Fest. The good-natured competition was fierce as seniors vied for position in the drag race, relay race, cone weave, maze and other challenging events on tricycles.

Mahala Madrigal gives it her all as she navigates the cones to complete the cone weave without touching one during Trike Fest. (Photo Kevin Johnson)
Minnie Tigertail chooses a beaded necklace that holds her medal for participating in Trike Fest Dec. 7. (Photo Kevin Johnson)

“It’s nice to see the seniors compete,” said Big Cypress Councilman Mondo Tiger. “All Seminoles in general are very competitive by nature, so we like to compete against each other.”

Fitting for the event’s theme, Super Heroes, 37 seniors of all ages showed their super determination and skills on three wheels. Teams from each reservation wore different colored T-shirts and showed their solidarity by cheering for teammates.

“It’s nice to see old friends,” said Jonah Cypress of BC.

After a warm-up in the hanger, everyone headed out to the runway for the big drag race. Although there were no sounds of engines revving, this was a serious competition and seniors of all ages gave it their all.

“Competition is a good thing,” said Esther Buster of BC. “I want to keep my reservation on top.”

Buster did what she could to help her team, including strategically bouncing a tennis ball off the floor so it would bounce onto the target for the target toss. The move was legal, yet calculated.

Not every senior had to ride a trike to compete; some showed their skills in the target toss and ladder ball.

“Everything is challenging, which is a good thing,” said President Mitchell Cypress, who did a fair share of practicing before the event. “We all enjoyed the day and had a good time.”

Medals on beaded necklaces were awarded to winners in each event, Super Seniors, Golden Seniors and Diamond Seniors. Trophies were also awarded. The best dressed biker was Mabel Tichenor of Brighton; best decorated bike was BC’s with their Batmobile, complete with the caped crusader himself; and the overall winning team was BC.

For the first time, guava sofkee was served along with breakfast and lunch. The sofkee was a group effort; Jennifer Billie of BC Culture made the sofkee using Truvia instead of sugar and the guavas were courtesy of Edna McDuffie. A special treat for dessert came courtesy of Lorraine Posada, who made a batch of rich chocolate covered red velvet truffles.

Rosie Grant, at right, speeds past Mary Tigertail as they pedal their hardest down the Big Cypress aviation runway during Trike Fest on Dec. 7. (Photo Beverly Bidney)
As the puzzle master, Carol Cypress served as anchor of the relay race for the Big Cypress team during Trike Fest on Dec. 7 in Big Cypress. By day’s end, the team won the relay and the title of best overall team. (Photo Beverly Bidney)
A group of helmeted bikers from the BC team await their turns to compete in the drag race on the runway during Trike Fest. (Photo Beverly Bidney)
Members of the Big Cypress Trike Fest team gather around their winning decorated trike. The team also won the trophy for overall winner. (Photo Beverly Bidney)
If his Santa hat topped cowboy hat is any indication; Richard Bowers is definitely in the holiday mood. (Photo Beverly Bidney)
President Mitchell Cypress uses the drive-through to get his steaming cup of guava sofkee served by Lorraine Posada at Trike Fest. (Photo Beverly Bidney)
Beverly Bidney
Beverly Bidney has been a reporter and photographer for The Seminole Tribune since 2012. During her career, she has worked at various newspapers around the country including the Muskogee Phoenix in Oklahoma, Miami Herald, Associated Press, USA Today and other publications nationwide. A NAJA award winning journalist, she has covered just about everything over the years and is an advocate for a strong press. Contact her at

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