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Bicycles Built For Two, Four Or Five
“I’m really surprised no one thought of making bikes like these before. They’re a family-type fun bicycle which all members of the family – from grandchild to grandmother – can use and enjoy,” says Eldan Ansel, pioneer combine and tractor cab manufacturer at Ulysses, Kan., who sold his Ansel manufacturing plant in 1965.
    Soon after, when he and his wife decided to take up bicycling for recreation, he got the idea of building bicycles built for two, three, four, or five. He bought a kit to put two bikes together, then added a seat so their granddaughter could ride along.
    Looking for ways to improve it, he began experimenting with built-from-scratch multi-seat bicycles which two to five passengers of all ages could ride side by side and carry on a conversation.
    Ansel perfected his idea, got it patented and is now custom-building Ansel Family Cycles in a wide variety of sizes ranging from two to five seats, 20 to 27 in. wheels and with regular or 10-speed transmissions. He buys used bicycles, salvaging only the “yoke” frames which he welds together into a wide variety of multi-passenger configurations. The wheels and other parts are new.
    Costs vary, depending on size and style. The princess, for example, a two or three seat model retails for $239, fob the factory.
    A “Helper Special” model, with one adult and one passenger seat, is designed to take adult passengers who, because of age, injuries or whatever, can’t help pedal. “This model is especially popular with retirement homes. Relatives or volunteers can use it to take older persons, who may not be able to walk, out for a ride,” says Ansel. “I know of one invalid lady who hadn’t been outside of the retirement home in tow years until her first ride on our Helper Special.” It sells for $234.
    The Executive – with three adult seats and four wheels – sells for $279.
    An optional 12 volt drive motor for most models sells for $149.
    For more details, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Ansel Family Cycles, 202 E Lotus, Ulysses, Kan. 67880 (ph 316 356-3390).

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1977 - Volume #1, Issue #4