Custom-built tricycle

Bathurst pair team up


Three's company
Three’s company: Phil Hurst and John Kitchen with one of the trikes

Bathurst resident John Kitchen’s love of bicycles has taken him from a general engineering business to building, designing and repairing bicycles in his local workshop, John Kitchen’s Fabrications. John has been running the business for five years, but started his first bicycle modification when he was just 15 years old. Since then, his bike modification skills have come a long way. “The first bike I worked on, it was a disaster,” he said.

John carries out extensive repairs and rebuilds and prides himself on restoring old, antique bicycles, some worth thousands of dollars. He works with all kinds of bikes, from mountain bikes to tandem bikes and even tricycles. He is even considering working on and building penny-farthings. John holds a Reynolds 753 master frame builder qualification, one of the most prestigious in his field. “You can’t get this qualification in Australia, it’s only available overseas,” he said.

About four months ago, Bathurst local and cycling enthusiast Phil Hurst visited John’s workshop looking for a custom-built tricycle that would offer him more support than his current trike, due to an ongoing handicap.  “It’s the most complex tricycle design I have worked on so far,” John said.

Phil suffers from spasticity down his right side, and so balance is always an issue when it comes to bicycles.

The frame on his tricycle also needed a lowered bar under the seat, so as not to interfere with his legs. This meant building a more secure support frame at the back of the trike. Since using the new tricycle, Phil says his quality of life has greatly improved.

“I hardly even use my car now. And I have so much more freedom,” he said with a smile.

Introduced to cycling in 2010 by a friend, Phil was inspired so much by his love of the sport that he now wants to encourage other people with disabilities to jump on a bike or a trike and see if they, too, can gain something from the experience.

“Even if you think you can’t do it, just get out and give it a go,” he said.


SOURCE:  Western Advocate, Feb 07, 2014, p5 

Life-long love affair with bikes


Feb. 7, 2014.

Published with the kind permission of the Western Advocate.


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