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The Patio Pedaller (AKA the Backyard Bike)
Yorkshireman BRIAN CASWELL describes the thinking behind his unusual creation.
Six years ago I was out cycling in Ackworth near Pontefract when I saw a group on horseback riding in a field. They were of mixed ages and sex. I realised that they were disabled and were really enjoying themselves. It hit me like a bolt of lightning - wouldnt it be wonderful if they could ride ride a bicycle? So I set about designing one.
My first attempt was a very crude makeshift system, working but posing a lot of problems. How do you make a bike self steering and self balancing? Easy, let it operate in a circle like a carousel, put it on 3 wheels, make it tilt inwards at high speed and provide the option of either hand or foot propulsion. Tether the Trike with 2 track rods to a central pivot and away you go.
To make the carousel larger simply extend the telescopic track rods. The pivot has to be heavy to withstand the centrifugal force at high speeds.(up to 20 mph with 30ft turning circle) The small child's will operate on 6ft of floorspace. The adult size needs about 12ft, which was the size of my entire back yard! What are its merits? It can be operated indoors or outdoors on any hard flat surface. It does not need steering or balancing - only propelling by hand or foot. Finally its the next best thing to owning my own velodrome. The Backyard Bike (to give it its 'common name'!) is now patented under UK patent GB2424596.
Post script. My initial aim was to give disabled children the joy of cycling in the safe confines and privacy of their own homes. So far I have had only one child and one adult with tunnel vision. I will welcome approaches from any individual or organization who wish to try out my invention. The deaf or partially sighted are especially welcome. Any cycle or mobility manufacturers can have my 20 year uk patent plus my stock of fifteen prototypes absolutely free in return for a royalty to be given to The Jane Tomlinson Appeal.
Interested parties may contact Brian via our office; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Beating the hills
The long and the short of family transport