Bill’s sweet invention a bicycle built for two
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.