About us and the beginning of the FWD recumbent tricycle passion!

There I am, back in 1987!

I was waiting for my turn at a USCF sanctioned time trial event near Sebring Fl. About 4 years earlier I had become a bicycle enthusiast when I rebuilt my Schwinn 10 speed.  The first high performance bike I bought was a 6061 aluminum framed race bike. A few years later I bought  a Zunow while I was in Japan. I did a lot of riding around the quaint coastal town of Beaufort, South Carolina while I was in the USMC.

After I got out of the service, and had to find "work," long daily training rides took a back seat to meeting the monthly rent.  Around 1988 or 1989 I saw a TV show on PBS that featured Human Powered Vehicles. And I was hooked!

1987 A local USCF Time Trial event. On the Zunow.

That TV show was a one hour long special on the Zapple HPV Speed Festival.

"Heinz Wolffe and the 57 Tricycles"

The show featured many aspects of HPV (Human Powered Vehicles) including vintage video footage of early bikes, tricycles and more! There was a interview with the legendary Mike Burrows  who created arguably the best production recumbent trike, the Windcheetah! But what really grabbed me was the profile on a father and son team home building a fully faired tricycle. This was simply the coolest thing I had ever seen!  It had front wheel drive, dual half shafts  and a inboard brake. And after watching the on board camera shots, well I just had to have one!

I joined the IHPVA and received monthly newsletters on all the coolest inventions in the HPV movement. There are a lot of smart people working away in their garages on their dream. At the time you just couldn't just go to a local bike shop and buy a trike, you had to make your own vehicle, so with my "I can do anything" attitude I began my journey into home building.

Some video caps from the show:

Living in an Orlando apartment with no garage limits the amount of "homebuilding" but I had the use of my employer's shop to help build and cut. The first trike was pretty bad! It was so bad I never even rode it! So we learn from the mistakes and I started work on the second one. The DBT2 was a rear drive with aluminum frame. I was usually broke at the time so I had to save up to pay the welder and build up with monthly "installments." Then one day it was done...at least enough  to ride.  I continued to fiddle with it until I moved to Cocoa Beach.

Look Ma! No front brakes and no center point steering!

In the shop...again!

Very stiff over built Aluminum frame.

DBT2 Trike ready to ride with early steering bars.

The second tricycle did provide a lot of useable information on what major improvements had to be made on the next vehicle whenever I got around to building it. The trike did get me noticed however! One day I was riding around the Rollins College area in Winter Park and was stopped by a local news van from WESH TV 2.

The sports reporter was Stuart Scott.  BOOYAH! He was hired by ESPN in 1993. Stuart did great things during his lengthy career at ESPN, including interviewing President Obama while working there and unfortunately was diagnosed with cancer in 2007. Sad news on January 4th 2015, as Stuart Scott passed away from the extensive battle with cancer. He was 49. I'll always treasure our brief meeting.

 

February 2015 Last May, I was contacted by the editor of the IHPVA to submit an article for their publication! So of course I said yes, I can corner someone and talk about my FWD trike all day long, so writing about it is a breeze as I blog about the build and progress already!

So I've come full circle, I used to read these articles and collect all the publications as a member when I was younger and now I've been featured in one of the issues!

Email: dbtrikes@yahoo.com

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