From Hilary Staples, an enthusiastic cyclist, we received an email about the duo bike Fun2Go. During one of her bicycle tours, together with Steven, she met two men riding on the double rider cycle. She really got inspired by the story of the guys on the side by side tandem, that she wrote an article about them at her website Holland-Cycling.com, a website with all the information and inspiration you need to come and explore Holland on your bike. With this story about special needs bikes, she hopes that it will inspire people with disabilities to cycle.
At the bottom of this page you can read the full English paper published by Hilary Staples. Below you can read a summary of the text about the duo bike.
Duo bike – cycling with a difference
On Hilary’s and Stevens cycle tours through Holland, collecting material for the Holland-Cycling.Com website, Hilary and Steven meet many interesting people. The story of one couple on a duo bike she came across on the island of Texel were so inspirational that she would like to share it with us.
Tandem of duo bike?
Hilary and Steven were cycling on the dykes and saw two men on a duo bike heading towards them at full speed. Although these duo bikes are appearing more often on the cycle paths, she would never had the chance to see one close-up, at least not in action.
A year ago Hilary posted a photo of a ‘bike for two’. “At that time I had no idea what it was – a tandem or a duo bike?” In fact, the bike is known under several names: side by side tandem, companion cycle, double rider cycle, three-wheel tandem and duo bike. She decides to call the cycle a duo bike.
Having decided on what to call the bike, the next questions was: “What’s the point of the duo bike? Why turn what are effectively two bikes next to each other into a bulky tricycle”. She was going to find out really soon, as the duo shared their story. On the photo below you see the two friends on their double rider cycle.
The men on the side by side tandem told Hilary and Steven that one of them lives in a local nursing home. He has difficulties walking and even with a rollator he is pretty restricted in how far he can go. So he does not have the opportunity to get around much. He had always been a keen cyclist, but his bad balance and physical disability has made cycling on a regular bike impossible.
So when the nursing home purchased a duo bicycle, he as eager to take it for a spin. The problem was that he did not have a cycling partner to go out with. Then there was a friend, who heard someone was looking for a companion,het volunteered to go along for a ride. “They enjoyed it so much that they’ve continued going out together on the duo bike every week.”
“Immediately the idea behind a duo bike became clear.” To ride an ordinary bike or two wheel tandem, you need to have a good balance. By placing the riders next to each other and adding an extra wheel, balance is nog longer an issue. The companion cycle has as an electric support option. It isn’t a problem if one of the riders does not have full muscle strength.
Replacing the normal saddle by a seat with back support makes the three wheel tandem even more suitable for cyclists wit disabilities. The two friends also showed Hilary and Steven another feature: by pressing a lever the seat can turn sideways, so no clever acrobatics are needed to get on and off the bike, ass you can see on the picture.
Highlight of the week
“If we hadn’t been told, we wouldn’t have noticed any difference in physical ability between the two men.” With the Fun2Go duo bike the two mates can get pretty much everywhere on the island. “Narrow cycle paths, obstacles such as posts in the middle of the road – nothing will stand in the way of this dynamic duo”.
“Being able to get away from the nursing home and enjoy the lovely countryside is clearly the highlight of the week!”
On the photo above you see the two cycle friends coming along the dyke at full speed and in a blink of the eye the cycling duo disappeared into the distance.
Do you want to find out more information about the Fun2Go companion cycle? Then take a look at the Van Raam Fun2Go product page. Van Raam is the Dutch manufacturer of special needs bikes, that also produces the Fun2Go side by side tandem. There are also various places where you can rent the Fun2Go, including Texel and Amsterdam. You will find an overview of rental companies at the dealer page.
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