Tricycles, those beloved three-wheeled children's vehicles, have generally been less prominent than bicycles in the physical world of the Muppets. However, in recent years, they've gained traction on Sesame Street. In particular, Elmo rides a tricycle as seen on a number of occasions, notably the song inserts "Riding My Tricycle" (later performed at A Capitol Fourth) and "Elmo's Riding." The trike was prominently featured in the plot of episode 4141.
It was Kevin Clash's idea to have Elmo ride a tricycle, and he purchased the tricycle, which had an adjustable frame and seat that could be made bigger or smaller.
At first the idea to have Elmo ride a tricycle was rejected due to budget, but two years later, in 2005, Elmo finally rode a tricycle on the show. The Elmo puppet was radio-controlled when he rode his tricycle. Matt Vogel operated the tricycle via a small black box with an antenna and some switches, while Kevin Clash used a radio-controlled mitt to transmit signals to Elmo. The October 2009 online issue of Sesame Street Magazine has an illustration of Elmo on his tricycle, with Dorothy's bowl on the back.
On social network TotSpot, Abby Cadabby listed among her favorite activities "riding tricycles with Elmo and Rosita."
Tricycles also play an important part on the Muppet Babies reboot series, whenever the characters venture out into the Wild West (where the tricycles behave like horses), or go on races through the desert in their imagination.
- Clash, Kevin, My Life as a Furry Red Monster, p. 84
- "Kevin Clash helps a radio controlled Abby Cadabby ride a tricycle on the set of Sesame Street.", Twitpic, March 6, 2009.
- "Leslie Carrara and Paul McGinnis at the radio controls of the tricycle riding Abby Cadabby puppet.", Twitpic, March 6, 2009.