In 1986 in Germany I saw a newspaper article about a home built recumbent bike and resolved to make one myself. I have been making them ever since.
As well as recumbents, I have made load carriers and several tandem Human Powered Vehicles: my son Ewan has had a pedalling seat on a string of tandems since the age of 4 and he is now 19, and has overtaken me in height!
In 1997 I joined OzHPV and started to meet many other HPV builders : I am forever grateful for their camaraderie, friendship and advice.
For several years I concentrating on improving 2 bike designs, these are
- The patented Modular Bike which is built from the ground up for conversion between different cycleses including standard, recumbent, load carrying, and tandem styles. Two frames of the same type can be bolted together to form the load carrying and tandem bikes.
- Big At The Front bikes (boom boom sticks) which are very simple front-wheel drive recumbents with a short, powerful, efficient, direct drivetrain and built-in aerodynamic load carrying area.
I still make these bikes for my own use and have completed many 50k round trip commutes, 2 210k "round the bay in a day" rides and some audaxs on them. Recently I rode it as part of the "Bentrider" team in the Lake Wendouree Cycle Challenge which can be seen at on youtube.
Unfortunately neither of these designs have sold in their millions and even if they did I would be unable to build them all! Throughout the time I have been building bikes I have written articles for "Australian Cyclist", the Ozhpv magazine "Huff" and "Velovision". One of these articles was a description of all the types of recumbent bikes, information which was previously only available in German.
This article, a few others I'd written and information on the modular and recumbent bikes I've built formed the nucleus of a book which is the called "An Illustrated Guide to the Cycle Zoo". I've tried to write about most of the styles of standard bicycles and Human Powered Vehicles that are around and draw a map as to how they relate to each other. Well the point of this site is to sell books. I've done all I can to make the book good value including providing extra information on the web for purchasers.
This information includes:
- Internet links to examples of real world cycles illustrated in the book.
- Complete Engineering drawings allowing you to build both the Big at the Front Bike and Modular bike series.
If the books sell quickly enough I will write a bigger, better book on the same subject. Help me out!