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In the early 1990's, I was a Skydiving instructor at AirVentures Skydiving in Rome. Being the total adrenaline Junky all my life, I finally got bored and took off to Lookout Mountain and decided to become a Hang Glider Pilot. I first met Mike Theeke while learning aero tow, he was the guy pulling the Gliders to altitude behind the two seater Trikes. After a few minutes of talking with Mike I found out I could actually learn to fly a Trike. So I signed up for lessons and two weeks later I had bought a Sky Cycle a week or so later did my solo. Since that time I have owned three Trikes and still fly. The nice thing about Mike is your friendship does not end with the lessons, since that time we have flown together, shared a Hanger, and done some killer side by side photography flights. Over the years I have sent several students to Mike and there is not another instructor anywhere I would consider period.When you first meet Mike, usually at sunrise, don’t let his bluntness scare you. He is focused on getting you in the air and not missing a minute of the early morning calm air. Once in the air he will work you hard, make you laugh, make you repeat turns and landings until you do can do them in your sleep, and when he is finished you will be a safe, confident, responsible pilot. The SkyCycles speak for themselves the first time you lay eyes on one, and again when you take a peek at all the Trophies and Awards won by Mike’s Designs.


Dean Ellis


Dear Mike,

I want to thank you for the patience and perception in teaching an old dog new tricks. Being 63 years old and always wanting to fly has been a lifelong dream. If it were not for your Sky Cycle and ability to teach, I would have never succeeded in my goal. The Trike performs up to the expectations with reliability and ease of use. I have had a summer of fun that I would never have had any other way. I am now making plans on winter flying and how to achieve that. I am at 41 hours now and do not see looking back. I have been able to fly in winds and bumps now beyond what I believed I would be able to when I first started lessons with you. Your teaching is always in the back of my mind and I hear your voice telling me when a thermal hits me "pull back and fly through". Funny how some things stick with you. Landing was always the hardest for me and you had the patience to get me to achieve that too. Now, it is automatic and am landing in crosswinds of 10 mph +. The Sky Cycle design is solid and has helped me build up my confidence in my abilities. I am still planning to fly that part 103 from Iowa to Tennessee to see you. I want to see your face when I turn final and land and pull up to your hanger. Once again. Thank you Mike for the courage to train an "old dog".

Jim Garrett


I was telling my friend Jim, who I knew was a pilot, that I had always wanted to fly, but couldn’t afford it. He said “Sure you can! If you can afford to buy a decent used car then you can fly”. He had my attention and offered a phone number. A few short weeks later, after a phone call to Theeke, I was in the air! A couple of trips to Tennessee and I was on my way back to South Carolina with my solo endorsement, my Skycycle and a smile that wouldn’t go away. Now I have well over one hundred hours in the air, and the smile still hasn’t gone away! I have since gone on to earn my private pilot license and fly a Piper Cherokee when I need to travel cross country. No doubt the Piper is a lot of fun to fly, but nothing can even come close to the feeling of being in the air in my Skycycle trike. The Skycycle is an outstanding flying machine, as the numerous awards prove, and Mike Theeke is one of the most experienced and qualified instructors in North America. My only regret is that I didn’t learn about Mike Theeke and the Skycycle years ago.

Steve Milligan


My love of flying started at age 18 when I joined the Civil Air Patrol. I started training in a J3 cub, but family became my priority before I could get my private license, so flying slowly ceased. While on vacation in Ocoee Tn., I took an introductory flight in a trike while waiting my turn down the rapids. I challenged the pilot to give me a wild ride and he did not disappoint. After being stuck on the ground for 40 years, I knew I had to get one. I learned of Mike at Lookout Mountain Flight Park (where they said he was the best in the country) when my daughter took her introductory flight in a hang glider, and started taking lessons immediately. After my first lesson with Mike flying from the front seat, I knew what it must feel like to be an eagle. My lessons with Mike went very well. He was very professional, knowledgeable, and always there to answer any questions I had, whether there or at home. He helped me make the right choice when buying my trike, which included the Rotax 447 electric start, and Maverick II wing. I enjoyed 40 hours with this set up, then upgraded to a Pacer 13 wing to enjoy increased speed and maneuverability. If you want to learn from the best, then I highly recommend Mike because he builds the best trikes, and as I was told, he truly is the best instructor in the country.

Pat Hardy


I took delivery of my Sky Cycle in December of 2010. I’ll always remember my surprise! It looked even better than I had imagined. When it comes to wings and motors, Mike chooses the best quality available, puts them together, adds your personal touches, and creates a one of a kind award-winning Sky Cycle. It is a thing of beauty! All that aside, there are three main reasons why I choose to have my trike made by Mike Theeke. First, Mike manufactures right here in the USA and provides training. He is a CFI and a no nonsense, safety minded teacher. For me, there’s plenty of time to become a cowboy later, safety is number one! The second crucial deciding factor was the support Mike offers. He makes the trike, carries the parts for it, performs maintenance service on the trike, and fly’s out of a well-kept county airport just outside of Chattanooga, Tennessee. The real closer for me was when Mike offered to keep my Sky Cycle in his hanger until I felt confident, regardless if that took a day or a year. It’s now a year later and I still fly with Mike and sometimes 3 or 4 other trike owners will join us for a guided ride to Lookout Mountain, a nearby airport, or simply a country-side ride. Here, you’ll find the some of the calmest winds in the USA as you fly over the Tennessee River, plus you’ll find plenty of farm land if you need a place to land in an emergency. If I had it to do all over again, I would not change a thing!

Rick Alvarez


Endless Enthusiasm

I've known Mike Theeke since 2001 when I took up hang gliding at Lookout Mountain Ga. Since my last back surgery I have not flown much at all due to the stress it puts on my body. I was not willing to end my hang gliding career but knew I needed another method of flying. So I talked to Mike. He was now over at Marion Co. airport had his own hangar and everything. Well I broke the news to the wife, Sherry, and you know I was pleasantly surprised that she was also interested in taking a lesson. She said one lesson at a time just to see if I like it. We both were hooked right away. Mike's enthusiasm and expertise in Ultralight trikes is endless.

The Skycycle we purchased from him is top notch. It is so much fun to fly and handles like a dream. We both enjoy flying our Skycycle. I've had it up to 56 mph with a training wing on it. Imagine what it could do with a faster wing. We bought the one with the Kawasaki 447 engine which has performed flawlessly. The trike is so comfortable to sit in and causes no problems with my back. I am looking forward to some cross country flying in the future, this time sitting down in a relaxed position. All I need is a cup holder and I'm ready to go. I believe we will buy another Skycycle next spring so Sherry and I can fly together. The flying Richardson's is what Mike calls us.

If flying a trike is in your future I would highly recommend Fly Hard Trikes and Mike Theeke. The Trike he builds for you and the expert training you will receive is unsurpassed in the industry, and once you are up and flying he will be there to keep your trike in top notch condition. Thanks Mike for all you have done for Sherry and me.

Mike Richardson
Acworth Ga.


Mike Solo's First Woman Pilot

I never thought about flying until Mike, my husband started talking about ultralight trikes. When I took my first lesson with Mike Theeke, I told both Mikes I was taking it one lesson at a time. I soloed on November 1, 2008. It was an amazing feeling and accomplishment. Later I learned I am Mike Theeke’s first woman to solo. I am quite honored. Mike was cool, calm and collected even when I was uneasy and unsure. Mike is an excellent instructor. He worked tirelessly with me until my landings improved. I love flying the Skycycle. It is perfect for a new pilot. Mike, my husband and I will buy another Skycycle so we each have our own trike. It is so much fun when there are two or three trikes flying around together. I recommend Mike Theeke and Fly Hard Trikes. Mike is the BEST.

Sherry Richardson, Acworth, GA.


Attention To Detail

After becoming a hang glider pilot, I became interested in learning how to fly an ultralite trike. In talking with different people about it, one name continually came up in conversation…..Mike Theeke and his Skycycle trike. In June of 2009 I had the fortunate opportunity to train for one week with Mike at Marion County Airport. After my first flight, Mike switched me to the driver’s seat and there was no turning back. To quote Mike, “The weather Gods must have been in your back pocket,” because every day was beautiful flying weather at Marion. On my last day at Marion, I was able to solo on my own special ordered Skycycle trike with a North Wing Maverick II wing and the high performance Kawasaki engine.

In my flying career, Mike was the first instructor who dedicated his whole attention to me, the learning student. No more trying to get my training in around tourists going up for joy rides. No matter what question came out of my mouth, Mike was there with an answer. His attention to detail on building my trike was unbelievable. I fell in love with it the minute I saw it. Mike test flew it first before my solo flight. He said it was the first one like it he had built. Upon landing he said, “I can’t let you have this trike.” Concerned, I asked “what’s wrong with it.” He said, “Nothing’s wrong, it’s just the sweetest flying trike I have built yet.” He was right. The Skycyle with the wing and motor combination I chose handles so well.

Back in North Carolina, I have been flying every weekend since returning home. I told Mike, “I bought my trike to fly…..not to just sit and collect dust.” Best decision I ever made…..right after asking my wife to marry me.

Dee Liverman



"Mike Theeke is the finest trike pilot I've ever met. His knowledge of flying and his ability to teach are unsurpassed. The training facility at the Marion County Airport was fantastic. The views were incredible! As a new trike pilot, I highly recommend Mike as a teacher."

Tim A. Cummins


Whoever Said You Can’t Mix Business With Pleasure?

I took my first flight in a Cloudman 17’ Standard Rogollo 34 years ago. Several years of great flying were followed by law school, 90 hour work weeks, a family and little if any flying. I got back into it in ’94 with a Pulse 11.

The problem. I hung out my own shingle 6 years ago and live about two and a half hours from Lookout. Weekends flying kept shrinking until there were only perhaps two a year.

The solution? The skycycle.

This is simply the perfect fun flying machine. I have cliff launched, towed, flown a number of other ultralights, as well as single and twin engine aircraft, sailplanes and been in helicopters. This beats them all hands down. Why? Let me tell you.

My love of hang gliding was always the silent free flight, right down to carving a turn with a hawk (yes I have had that happen twice). Two seat ultralights are designed to remain under power at all times. In the Skycycle, however, I get to altitude, usually about 6 grand in six minutes with a climb rate (thanks to the Rotax 447, which I strongly recommend you get with your bird) of about 1000 fpm. It will, under full throttle and pushed out climb at 1200, but it is, according to my fellow pilots, standing on the tail when I did it. So don’t do it. (That last comment was for Mike.)

There are a number of wings available. I picked the Northwing Stratus. It is the only one designed exclusively for use with ultralight trikes and for cycle soaring. They rate it with a 250 fmp sink rate. Mine’s close; it averages 300-350, but does, under very soft smooth conditions, go below 250 fpm sink rate. Trim is 32 mph and stall is 20-21. Supposedly, it does not have a great top speed. Hummm, 50+ airspeed with no oscillations seems OK to me. You sure get some distance covered when your ground speed is 80-90 mph. (Yes, been there, done that too in this bird.) It flies as easy at the Pulse, but holds the turns much better; very little bar pressure. The one problem I find is that it simply does not want to come down. (What a terrible thing!) Ask Mike about the other wings; you need to be sure to get the one best suited for the flying you want to do.

The Stratus soars beautifully with the engine off. It climbs as well as a Sting II with VG, which was the last thing I was flying. In my opinion, definitely go with the Rotax 447. Also, while the pull start works just fine (most of the time the first try straight out of the hanger), I would go for the electric start if I had it to do over again. I’m just kinda lazy I guess.

So now to business. Aerial advertising reaches a large number of folks in your immediate area. Doing it on a trike with a hang glider brings folks over wherever you land. (By the way, mine takes off on a postage stamp and lands on an envelope. Well, pretty close to that.) I have only gotten about 10 hours cross country airtime around north Georgia since I started here a few months back and already have gotten several new clients. They simply come out of the crowd and are asking for your card within ten minutes.

I am not a CPA or tax attorney, so you need to run all of the following by your own. That said, the trike purchase was made through my business. It qualified for an accelerated depreciation schedule (3 years on mine) and may even be a § 179 immediate one year total write off for you. Hanger, equipment, gas, maintenance and the rest are also business expenses. (The lessons were not deductible last year, nor have they, as far as I know, ever been. Check for changes this year or when you buy yours). The lettering was done with the standard stick on hang glider material, cut at a print shop. My wife and I had them on in 30 minutes.

So what if you don’t have your own business? Go talk to the owner of the place you work. You would be surprised at the positive response every business has to low cost, high visibility, local advertising. Heck, even if they only make a deductible contribution to the purchase and cover some of the lessons, you’re likely half way there. (Don’t drop the paper flyers from the sky; it’s littering.)

So, why the skycycle? Both because of the machine and because of its maker. Mike has been designing, building, improving and selling these trikes for nearly two decades. (Yes, I know he looks older than that). He designed and has improved the machines over that time and has the best record in the business. Also, I did training with a number of folks, including one who, based on my years of flying experience, said, after the first flight in a two seater, that he could clear me in three hours. If someone tells you something like that, walk away, and do it fast. Mike was the most thorough, detailed, and dedicated no BS instructor I have ever encountered. Suppose you have a power failure on take-off? How about one far away from the strip where you need to get into a bail out LZ (which you will have to show you have been keeping in sight at all times)? Wouldn’t you rather have gone through those things first with an instructor who not only has thousands of hours of airtime, but makes even those exercises not only safe, but actually kinda fun? Also, he completely prepares you for the sport pilot test necessary to fly a two seat ultralight should you decide to get one of those too.

Why else for me? Aside from the obvious reasons anyone would want one of these puppies, I happen to live on a golf course, at the end of a long par 5 and got the permission of the owners to launch and land there. I keep it in a hanger at an ultralight airport about 25 miles away, fly home after work on Friday and tie down next to the driveway. Should you have just a few hundred feet of flat land not surrounded by big trees, you can even pick up a fabric hanger for only about $2,500, so you would have even my situation beat.

I really can’t say enough about this machine. If you get one, the deductions pay for it in a few years, all of your flying is free and you can always tell the wife that you need to work Saturday mornings a few times a month! When you get yours, drop me an email. I’d love to know your experiences, swap some stories and maybe have you fly over to my place for some shrimp on the barbi.

Come on; let’s go commit some aviation!

Steve Saccoccia


My Journey to The Sky,

In December of 2012, I was surfing the web, and came across this machine called a SKY CYCLE. It is manufactured by Mike and Tina Theeke. I talked with Trike Mike about his SKY CYCLE. He had just finished up building one and said it is your's. I sat at home and thought about the money and the economy. I had second thoughts and thought it best to take a step back. I called Trike Mike and explained my decision. He was so understanding and told me to call him when I was ready, and he would do what ever he could to help me reach the sky.

A month later I called him and said I was ready to go. The bad news for me was that he had just sold the trike a few days before. There was a long pause on my end. Then the good news came. He said I will build you one and you can have whatever colors you want.

As time went by, the pictures started coming in from Tina. The trike was now complete and I could come and get it. Because of my work, I could not make the trip. Mike told me that he would bring it down for me. I received my SKY CYCLE in April. Now, who and where to get training from? I explained to Mike that due to family time, I was not able to come up to TN and get training from him. I could not believe how well he took the news since he had treated me so well (better than I would have) . I picked a flight instructor and got started. Well, after 20 hrs, I was not ready to fly solo, not even close. I was on the verge of doing something stupid (flying myself). Again, I turned to Mike and Tina. Mike said, “just get up here!” Well, he had not steered me wrong yet. I loaded up the trike and away I went. Within 3 hrs. of training with Trike Mike, I learned so much more than I learned in 20 hrs. Doing runway landings, landings and taking off in the grass, emergency landings, etc. Then the moment finally came! SOLOED! What a GREAT DAY! I would like to thank MIKE and TINA THEEKE for all that they have done for me to make this Journey To the SKY possible. Without them it would not of happened. I highly recommend Fly Hard Trikes to anyone. Their workmanship and professionalism is second to none.

Thanks Again

Mike Nelson

Port Saint Lucie, FL