By George Harvey
Early in April, stories appeared in various new media with pictures of Prince Harry driving around the new Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London on a quadricycle. It would have been all too easy to dismiss the vehicle in the photo as an expensive toy, but a close look showed this certainly was not the case. The photo made it easy to spot its rugged construction. Looking closer, one could easily see the frame marked “Rhoades Car,” after a manufacturer in Hendersonville, Tennessee.
We can be sure that some people buy Rhoades Cars to drive them around for fun. It is clear, however, that there are many other reasons to drive them. Health is one. Getting out from under the expense of automobiles is another. A number of people have even given up their dependence on cars, with their environmental issues and huge expenses, choosing the healthier cycles as their sole means of personal transportation. Indeed, the company even has an industrial line.
The vehicles come in many sizes and styles. They range from one to five riders. Nearly all models can be had with an electric motor, and there are two different models that are solar-powered. All models can be pedaled. Those for two people have them sitting side-by-side, with separate gearshifts for each person. Models for four or five people have two front seats, and either a bench seat or two in the back, with those in front doing all the pedaling.
There are five different models for personal transportation. One, the GoBoy, has a higher seat with pedals below like those on most bicycles, while the other models all have the seats lower with the pedals in front of them. The Cycle Car is the original model, and remains most popular. The SolarRide is derived from the Cycle Car, but has a motor and a canopy with a solar panel on it to charge the batteries (not included). The SportPed has a built-on UV-filtering curved windshield, which also serves as a windscreen. The SolarPed is like the SportPed, but has a motor and solar panel. Finally, there are the industrial models, specially built for a variety of purposes.
There is a wide range of options that can be added. A canopy or motor can be added to nearly any model. Most vehicles are 7-speed, but a 42-speed option is available. There are options for seat styles, types of wheels, improved tires, arm rests, chain guards, fenders, headlights tail lights, and more.
The Rhoades Car web site is a really interesting place to visit and there’s always a monthly special. It is at www.rhoadescar.com. The toll-free phone number is (800) 531-2737. Mentioning Green Energy Times will get you a nice 10% discount in June.