Built with passion and, errr, a sunroof

Vijay Sharma built the Tandem Trike so that he could go cycling with his wife  pic/ Shreelesh Kumar

Imagine a hand-made ride, built with passion, a sunroof, two seats, three wheels and you have what Vijay rigged for Niyatee. Technically, it’s not a bike but a trike. Make that a Recumbent Tandem Trike with a Sunroof. And it’s  got turning lights. All that’s missing are seat belts!

Vijay, who makes furniture for companies like AOL, IBM, Target, Shell and Suzlon, confesses that he got into cycling just 9 months ago when he bought a bicycle for Niyatee to commute to office. “It looked like a good idea, so I bought one as well,” says Vijay. The complications began when he became fascinated with building a quad bike, but somehow stumbled upon a trike design with two wheels in front. Vijay designed a frame for Indian roads within 3 days and when the first trike was ready —it was a smaller yellow one meant for a single rider — they took it out for regular rides on Sunday mornings to Lalbagh. “We were a bunch of laid back bikers and a recumbent trike seemed perfect, except that Niyatee could not handle the attention she got on the roads,” says Vijay. The solution? A Tandem Trike that both could ride and divide the attention! “Riding together is a much better feeling,” says Vijay.

The tandem has a sunroof that can easily be replaced with a carrier — you can put a kayak on it, transport wooden planks, carry shopping, anything. It’s ideal for gated communities that are proliferating in Bangalore and holiday resorts practically anywhere. Who knows, a company like Infosys which has bicycles in its Electronic City campus and runs golf carts for its guests, may want a couple of these as well.
Given his playful nature, Vijay is busy cooking up stuff for future editions of the trike: the next model may have a pedal-powered mobile charger, a wind-powered lighting system…nothing is beyond his imagination. He has begun to get inquiries with people asking him the pricing for the tandem. “One of these days I have to get down to the boring part of figuring out what this costs,” says Vijay.

Arun Katiyar is a content and communications consultant. He is also a trustee of the RideACycle Foundation (www.rideacycle. org). He prefers to ride a Merida 880-24.

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