Tag Archives: special needs

Special Needs & Rhoades Car


Don’t you love it when you create something and it ends up providing a new solution in addition to what you originally created it for?  Or when you finish a project and you look back and see how rewarding it was to see the fruit it produced?  As we’ve seen Rhoades Car move into different markets and offer a healthier lifestyle to individuals, families, and work-style to corporations, we’ve also seen how it can help and increase a positive outlook on life with young and old individuals with all different types of special needs.  It’s the most rewarding feeling when you get to hear from family members or parents of how a Rhoades Car has or could really help their special needs family member either get outdoors more and/or feel like they’re actually contributing to an activity with others.

With four wheels, two seats, and the open road, everyone can enjoy it.  It shouldn’t matter if you have something physically holding you back, you deserve some excitement and enjoyment on the road.  Rhoades Cars have a unique experience that allow you to ride on a stable quadricycle, sit on a comfortable seat, and either participate in the pedaling or not, it’s totally up to you.  Rhoades Cars also can be customized the person’s special needs to help them better enjoy and participate.  We recently had a customer request to have foot straps on the passenger’s right side as well as a seat belt.  This particular customer’s wife had had a stroke and they were both eager to get back out together and exercise.  Since they were both once avid cyclists, this was the best way for them to get back to an activity they enjoyed and could do it together.  That’s where we love to be able to customize is when a customer has a specific need, we have a specific answer.

As we’ve noted in a recent blog, one very important advantage Rhoades Cars have is the side-by-side seating.  Much different than a tandem experience, with our recumbent seating style, you really get to sit comfortably while engaging in communication with the person next to you.  It’s very similar to a vehicle so it combines the cycling experience of pedals with the seating experience of a car.

A few weeks ago we shipped a custom-made Rhoades Car to a developmental achievement center which specializes in helping adults with disabilities become as independent as possible.  This particle model had a specialized trailer on it with stable foot plates (and foot straps),a swivel seat, and a seat belt.  Since some of their adults could not participate in the cycling aspect, this allows them to go on the ride with others and still be able to enjoy the outdoors with everyone else in a stable and comfortable manner.  The trailer was specifically for someone to enjoy a ride outdoors and be able to take in the sights and sounds of nature during a ride.  We also have customers who suffer from diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, where their Rhoades Car has tremendously changed not only their outlook on life, but in some ways increased their quality of living.

Rhoades Car’s owner, William Horton, has a special place in his heart for helping those with special needs or physical illness.  William suffered a brain-stem stroke in December of 2006.  “If I could have had a Rhoades Car during my recovery, to enjoy time with my wife and kids, it would have been a game-changer.”  This was a strong feeling that contributed to Mr. Horton’s drive behind purchasing the company in 2015.  That same feeling and want to help those who may be suffering from various hardships, continues through Rhoades Cars today.

We have numerous customers and inquiries every week from parents who are interested in providing a better atmosphere for their kids.  From autistic to blind or vision-impaired to down syndrome, a Rhoades Car allows them to participate in a healthy and fun cycling exercise and depending on their level of engagement, can actually pedal or steer the bike.  Nothing else allows them the freedom to enjoy time with others outdoors AND get a great exercise.

We love hearing these stories from our customers.  We realize what we get to do is make a product that not only brings joy to so many for being able to be just like everyone else, but it brings back a simple pleasure that so many of us take for granted everyday, which is being able to enjoy being around the people we enjoy and love the most.  Whether it’s a family member with special needs or someone who has suffered from a life-altering disease or illness, we enjoy providing a customized product that helps fight against the mental and physical hardships that come with special needs and disabilities.  Here at Rhoades Car we consider it a privilege to partner with families and individuals to help bring smiles and joy to everyone, no matter what life throws at them.

Have a story you’d like to share?  We’d love to hear it!  Please email us at support@rhoadescar.com

 

Man Loses 155 Lbs. in 8 Months and Other Customer Stories


It’s not just about the money. We as a company treasure testimonials from our customers who are having fun on their Rhoades Car, while truly being helped.  So while we tell you about our September Special, here are four that really touched us. The first two are recent blogs you may have missed, and the last two just happened.

  • Man from White House, TN Loses 155 Lbs. in Eight Months.–  We met Dean Cagley in January of this year in a wheel chair. With spinal and disk issues, he was headed for surgery. He now barely uses a cane and has avoided surgery. He rides 10 miles a day and has been able to go back to work. His wife shares half of the ride and has lost 50 lbs. without doing anything else!
  • Autistic Man in 12th Year of Riding a Rhoades Car Twelve years ago, the Reid family in Oak Forest, IL pooled their savings to buy their autistic son a Rhoades Car. It pulled him out of depression from losing his job and he has been riding ever since. Bill, his mother and sister visited the Rhoades Car factory last week to pick up a new tire, the first part the bike has needed in the entire 12 years!

So it’s not just about the money, but everybody loves to save money. So if you’ve been thinking about a Rhoades Car, now is the time with our September special:

Save up to $250 off a Rhoades Car AND get free turn signals!

  • Toni Braun in Altona, Manitoba bought a Rhoades Car six months ago.  A severe head injury forced him to give up riding a two wheel bike due to balance issues. He had heard about Rhoades Car many years ago and credits God with helping him find us. He is so happy with his Rhoades Car as his main transportation PLUS he gets to spend time with his wife and other people he picks up along the way. He was especially glad it arrived fully assembled and said, “I was so impressed with the quality workmanship that went into this thing.” You can see the entire story here.

Save up to $250 off a Rhoades Car AND get free turn signals!

  • A couple in Jonesboro, TN picked up their bike two weeks ago.  The husband is a professor at East Tennessee State University and a psychologist. He was an avid cyclist until he had 2 knee surgeries and 3 back surgeries, the last one leaving his left thigh really weak. He said the Rhoades Car is working out his left leg perfectly and he is regaining his strength. He and his wife SuSu are having the time of their lives riding all over downtown Jonesboro. They have been married 29 years and love riding side by side, each pedaling in a comfortable gear, and being able to talk, instead of riding tandem.

Save up to $250 off a Rhoades Car AND get free turn signals!

Thanks to all these wonderful people for sharing their story with the Rhoades Car family!

Toni and Susi Braun,   Manitoba, Canada

Toni and Susi Braun, Manitoba, Canada

Mike and SuSu Floyd, Jonesboro, TN

Mike and SuSu Floyd, Jonesboro, TN

 

Rhoades Car Featured in Nashville Ledger Article


You can’t buy great publicity – you have to earn it!  The article below featuring Rhoades Car appeared in today’s Nashville Ledger.  Our thanks to the Nashville Ledger and writer Hollie Deese for a great article!

Peddling an alternative to cars, two-wheelers

Nashville Ledger

Friday, August 12, 2011, Vol. 35, No. 32

By Hollie Deese

http://www.nashvilleledger.com/editorial/Article.aspx?id=54401

Riding a bike to work is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint and get in a good workout. But certain limitations can prevent some people from enjoying that option – unless they have a Rhoades Car.

The four-wheeled vehicle is actually a bicycle, or quadricycle, and can accommodate a wider range of people than the standard two-wheel version.

“We have the four-wheel stability so anybody, whether they be overweight or have balance issues or are just scared of a two-wheel bike, can exercise,” says Bill Pomakoy, president of Hendersonville-based Rhoades Car International. People with vision problems can sit and pedal independently with a passenger and Rhoades can even customize seats to accommodate people with special needs or paralysis.

Pomakoy, who has a background in marketing, took over the business in February 2010 after inventor and original owner David Rhoades passed away suddenly in December 2009 without a succession plan. His next-door neighbor, Pomakoy had always been intrigued by what Rhoades was doing.

“He was just a genius as far as coming up with the concept and laying it all out and having a working model,” he says. “He started the business back in ‘91 out of a small barn in his backyard and then moved it out to an industrial facility ten years later.”

When paying respects to Rhoade’s family after his death, he asked whether the business, which had been on the market for a few months, had sold or not. It hadn’t.

“They didn’t really have a plan, and I have a bunch of friends who are entrepreneurs and thought one of them might be interested,” Pomakoy says. “And as I looked at their business I realized that I was interested myself. So I made the family an offer and they accepted. They were thrilled because the company was going to continue.”

There are four models of bikes and all come in one-, two-, or four-person models and can be customized with all kinds of features. When Pomakoy took over, he mainly worked on appealing to a broader range of clientele.

“He had the designs down pat and he had a really good presence on the Internet and had a good marketing plan, but what I have done is institute more cosmetic changes,” he says. “We knew we had models who appealed to the senior population, but at the same time — with rising gas prices — we knew that there was a need for alternate transportation for people age 30 and up.”

So they came up with Sport Ped model, which uses the same frame as the classic, but has an aerodynamically designed windshield with UV protection. Ranging from seven- to 42-speed options, Rhoades Cars have been sold all over the world. And increasing gas prices have only helped sales here at home.

“From a personal standpoint, I don’t want gas prices to go up, but as they do our sales have gone up because people are looking for alternate means of transportation,” he says. In fact, last year only 10 percent of his orders had an electric motor added. This year, it was 20 percent. And because the electric motor is programmed to stay around 14 miles an hour, they still fall under bike road rules.

“In Hendersonville, a lot of people have golf carts and have to license them with the DMV and insure them to be able to drive around,” he says. “One of these vehicles does not need to be registered because it does follow the bicycle law. If we gear it to go over 20 mph, then it would be a motor vehicle.”

Also important to Pomakoy is the fact his product is certified made in the USA. Not only is it manufactured here, but most elements that go into the bike are made in Middle Tennessee.

“We are using local suppliers to make our components,” he says. “Our steel is United States Steel fabricated in Goodlettsville, powder coated in Madison by another company. Our canopies and canvas fenders are made by Bennett’s Upholstery right here in Hendersonville. We can see other families benefitting from Rhoades Cars.”

Next up, Pomakoy hopes to get involved with Nashville’s bike share program, which recently received a 100-bike donation from Regions Bank.

“We are asking them to embrace a local company that has a four-wheel bicycle that everyone can ride,” he says. “There is a lot of discussion about fighting obesity but realistically a large person is not comfortable on a two-wheel bike. We have bicycles available for obese people to ride.”