Tag Archives: alternative transportation

Blog Series Intro: What Were They Thinking?

Curious about American Eagle Cycles, Inc. or our Freedom Classic cycle?

We don’t blame you! Our custom cycle is unlike any other and there are plenty of questions to ask, such as:

What is an adult tricycle, anyways? What makes the Freedom Classic any different? How in the world could this cycle help me? What makes it more comfortable or safer than a regular old bike? How did American Eagle Cycles, Inc. get started?

What excellent questions! Never fear, equally as excellent answers will be coming to you shortly in the form of…a blog series.

That’s right, right here on the American Eagle Cycologist we will be publishing our first blog series titled, “What Were They Thinking?” The series will take our readers through all the amazing features of the Freedom Cycle, the background of American Eagle Cycles, Inc., and more!

So make sure to follow our blog at https://aecycles.wordpress.com/ and keep up with our monthly posts!

Otherwise, you’ll still have a lot of excellent questions and no excellent answers, and that’s not very helpful, is it?

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Cape Cod Cycle Tour

American Eagle Cycles will be hitting the road on June 9th for a tour around Cape Cod! AE Cycles will be going to several different bicycle rental shops along Cape Cod to showcase the Freedom Classic.

Among these popular rental shops are Arnold’s Bike Shop, PTown Bikes, and Mike’s Rental Bike Shop.

PTown bikes

The first stop will be PTown Bikes, located at 42 Bradford St in Provincetown, at 11 a.m. Around 12:30 p.m., our second stop will be Arnold’s Bike Shop, located at 329 Commercial St. Provincetown, to let patrons take a ride on our one-of-a-kind cycle! At 3 p.m., we will visit Mike’s Bike Rental Shop located at 8 Canal Rd in Orleans, Mass.

If you live up by the Cape, come by these shops at those times to take the ride of your life on our cycle! And if you were just looking for a day to escape to the Cape? Make it next Tuesday, June 9th and include a fun, free spin around sunny Provincetown in your vacation day!

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The Freedom Cycle Experience

As children, many people have fond memories of riding bicycles around the neighborhood and on vacation. With age, bodies change, and many of us lose the ability to get back on a bike. Balancing becomes increasingly challenging and the tiny triangle-shaped seat becomes intolerable.

While on vacation in Cape Cod, Joan (age 71) realized that she was no longer able to balance on a two-wheel bicycle. With a love for cycling and the desire to ride with her grandson, she knew she needed to start looking at alternative solutions.

Joan came to us to check out our new adult tricycle to see if it might fit her needs.

This is Joan’s Experience with the American Eagle Cycles Freedom Cycle:

Q1: What was your reaction when you first saw the cycle?

Joan: At first, I felt intimidated; it is much bigger than my bicycle. I was apprehensive to take it for a ride.

AEC: Like some, she had her apprehensions when she first saw the trike; she was intimidated by the size. At 31” wide and 84” long, it seems a lot bigger than the average bicycle but it’s only as wide as the average person’s shoulders, and the length seems less intimidating once you are actually on it.

Q2: What did you think after you got on the cycle?

Joan: I adjusted the seat for my leg length and I got on the trike with ease. I was surprised that it was no trouble at all to get on and off. The seat was very comfortable and I felt stable.

 AEC: Unlike traditional bicycles, this cycle is custom designed for maximum comfort. No more tiny, triangle-shaped seats that are uncomfortable and difficult to sit on. The seat is ergonomically designed so the rider’s weight is distributed evenly over a large area and includes lumbar support. The seat also slides back and forth to accommodate riders from 5′ to 6’2″.

Q3: Once you rode the cycle, what was the ride like and what did you think of the steering?

Joan: Maneuvering the trike was easy. As I pedaled faster and faster, I took sharp turns without feeling like I might tip over. It was easy stopping the trike too with brakes on both sides of the steering handle. And unlike my experience at the Cape on my two-wheeler, I didn’t need to worry about falling over when I stopped.

 AEC: The Freedom Cycle requires no balance; it is self supporting. The low center of gravity makes it even more stable; allowing sharper turns without feeling like you might tip over. With steering at your sides it is easy to maneuver and very intuitive.

Q4: What was your overall experience?

Joan: All my intimidation and apprehension faded away as I felt the wind in my face. I didn’t want to get off the trike; I felt like I could ride forever. After my ride, I feel like I regained some sense of independence I thought I might have lost. It feels great knowing that I can keep up my active lifestyle.

Here at American Eagle Cycles, our goal is to allow you to get back out in nature and enjoy outdoor exercise, to once again feel the wind in your hair and sun on your face.

Gone are the days of sitting uncomfortably on a bicycle for extended periods of time. With the Freedom Cycle, you can easily go where the day takes you, while staying active, social, and healthy. Where will the Freedom Cycle take you?

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Our Story

Whenever we meet new acquaintances here at AEC, one question that everyone asks us is how and why we came up with the idea to design and build a new adult trike. So here’s the story:

Gary Webster owns an engineering company in Westfield, MA called Berkshire Group, Ltd. He started the company in 1987 and has been providing robots and automation systems to Fortune 500 companies ever since. Each project that the company builds provides a unique solution for a specific problem. Over the years, Gary has watched as several of his customers moved their manufacturing operations offshore; gradually decreasing the available work for Berkshire Group. In 2003, he decided that in order for the company to continue its success, he needed to come up with a product that the company could build over and over again using its engineering expertise.

In order to come up with a product to design, Gary and his staff held brainstorming sessions where ideas from converting cars to electric to home energy surveys arose. Altogether there were about 26 ideas that reflected the energy crisis, rising gas prices, the aging of America and the decreasing number of manufacturing companies. After establishing a variety of  possible products and services, four criteria helped to narrow the list down: 1) there must be a clearly defined target market (like the baby boomers), 2) the product needs to be unique and premium quality, 3) the product needs to benefit from Berkshire Group’s engineering experience and 4) the product must be “cool” and beneficial to use. This narrowed the list down from 26 to 2.

After weighing these two options, Gary moved forward with the AEC trike because it met both his business and personal goals. Starting AEC meant establishing a new American manufacturing company and creating a product for active older adults. Gary and his wife (who are baby boomers) were avid bike riders for many years but after a while, it became obvious that the bikes were uncomfortable, unstable and difficult to get on and off. Designing the AEC trike became personal and not just business. This also gave him a head start on the design, already knowing many of the issues baby boomers experience when riding a traditional bike. Although there are many adult tricycles already on the market, the majority of them are either giant versions of a toddler tricycles or electric scooters for the elderly.Evolution of AEC Tricycle

After settling on the trike, Gary began working on the product’s development in his spare time. He wanted the trike to be robust, comfortable, easy to get on and off, stable and most important, stylish. After working out the details of the mechanics, he hired a graphic artist to design the image of the trike that existed only in his head. The style of the trike was inspired by the Bugattis and other high-end cars from the 1930s and 40s. Thus the first AEC trike was born.

Once the product was designed, Gary hired me in January 2010 to join the AEC team and conduct research to determine market potential. I was pleasantly surprised when I saw how vast the bicycle market is in the US alone. Everything I found indicated that this was a solid product to move forward with. In July of 2010 we filed a design patent for the trike and have since been working to get the business started. The design of the trike has evolved over the last 18 months and is almost ready for production. We are currently building the final prototype and working out the mechanical issues.  We expect the trike to be finalized in the next few months, so stay tuned for the release of the final design and pictures of the first actual trike.

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