AD{CS5325711} 16 Red River Valley Echo ? Thursday, August 21, 2014

Cruising Altona on a bicycle built for two

Lori Penner Red River Valley Echo Toni Braun?s quadricycle has become a familiar sight on the streets of Altona. The local businessman pedals three circuits a day, often with his wife Susi at his side. The bike has given Braun his mobility back, after a disability left him unable to drive a car or standard two-wheeled bicycle. ?Taking a spin on a beautiful summer day is as easy as getting on board.? Lori Penner Red River Valley Echo It?s a beautiful summer evening in Altona, and Toni Braun is preparing to take his ?car? for a spin around town. But this is no regular car. This one is pedal-powered, and allows the rider to feel the wind in his hair. Braun?s quadricycle or ?cycle car? is a four-wheeled bike which has helped him regain much of his freedom and independence. A disabling head injury in 1986 forced Braun to find other means of transportation to get from point A to B. ?I realized last year that I was losing some of my sense of balance so I couldn?t ride a regular bike anymore,? Braun says. ?Then I remembered an episode of 60 Minutes I watched back in the 1970?s when I was a kid. They were featuring this ?four-wheel bike that drives like a car? made by the Rhodes Car company in Tennessee. I remember thinking how cool that was. Who knew that one day, I?d be driving one.? Braun began searching for a quadricycle online. He says he gave the whole matter over to God. ?I told Him to take control, and lead me to the right people and help provide the finances. And He?s done just that.? Braun found the Rhodes company from that 60 Minutes episode so many years earlier and placed an order. ?My ?Go Boy? quadricycle arrived fully assembled and ready to ride. I was so impressed with the quality workmanship that went into this thing,? he says. The recumbent pedals allow for easier travel, and the weatherproof cargo box allows him to haul a few groceries or packages. Braun added a few extra features such as blinkers and headlights. ?With the additions, it cost about $4,500, but it was worth every penny. This is my car, and in those terms, it?s a very affordable vehicle.? He no longer needs to ask family or friends for rides to the mall or the post office. ?It just feels so good not to have to rely on other people?s schedules. Now I can go there on my own.? A big perk is the incredible workout it provides. ?I try to go out three times a day, for about half an hour at a time. It?s incredible exercise and therapy for my legs, and burns a lot of calories.? Another plus is the social side of the quadricycle. ?It?s got two adjustable leather seats, and an extra set of pedals, so I often invite others to cruise around town with me.? He says it?s been a great way to spend time with his wife Susi. ?It?s also been a blessing for some of the seniors I know. One lady had vision issues, but she went for a ride and was able to pedal right along with me. She giggled like a little girl, and that was really sweet.? ?This vehicle has added a new dimension of fun to my life and gives me a way to enjoy the sunshine again. It?s been such a huge blessing.? 14082GG01 14084gg04

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