Bill’s sweet in­ven­tion a bi­cy­cle built for two

Sunshine Coast Daily - - News - Photo: John McCutcheon

AFTER 54 years of mar­riage, Bill and Glad For­ward still do ev­ery­thing to­gether, and a clever in­ven­tion of Bill’s is help­ing them do it.

In 2004, Mrs For­ward was di­ag­nosed with Alzeimier’s.

Mr For­ward said be­fore her di­ag­no­sis, he and his wife spent much of their time out­doors, but as her con­di­tion pro­gressed, her loss of mo­bil­ity threatened the cou­ple’s daily rit­ual.

“We used to love to walk around Mooloolaba, the Spit and dif­fer­ent places by the river at Cot­ton Tree, but she be­gan to stum­ble and fall as she lost her mo­bil­ity,” Mr For­ward said. “I thought this is too good, too nice to lose.”

After liv­ing in Asia for sev­eral years, Mr For­ward said he drew in­spi­ra­tion from the in­ven­tions he had seen oth­ers cre­ate.

“I was sure I could ar­range to get a bike chair made where she is sit­ting in front of me and I’m ped­alling along be­hind,” he said. “That way she could sit and point things out and we would be look­ing at the same thing.”

After ex­per­i­ment­ing with the de­sign, Mr For­ward took his plans to friend, Ken McKen­zie, who made the idea a re­al­ity.

But get­ting it to the mar­ket has been hard. After Mr For­ward and Mr Macken­zie be­gan man­u­fac­tur­ing the bike, the project was stalled by con­cerns about li­a­bil­ity in­sur­ance.

The pair were told the bike had to be cer­ti­fied by an engineer, but no-one was in­ter­ested in help­ing.

Three years later, Mr For­ward said there ap­peared to be strong de­mand around the world, but the project re­mained stalled.

He has passed the man­age­ment of the Bike Chair project on to his son-in-law, who is in talks with US-based com­pa­nies in­ter­ested in man­u­fac­tur­ing it.

If the Bike Chair sparks your in­ter­est, email [email protected]

KEEP SPIN­NING: Bill For­ward wants his de­sign to help oth­ers like it has helped him and his wife, Glad.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.