Bill Forward and his wife Glad live in the gorgeous Sunshine Coast in Australia.
Walks by the sea, through parks and beside rivers was something they loved to do together. Bill and Glad, a devoted couple married for 50 years, had a beutiful life together.
Several years ago Bill felt a deep sense of loss when he noticed that his beloved wife Glad was losing her ability to walk. Sadly, Glad’s health started to go down quickly and she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. At first Bill believed that their outdoor life was over since Glad could not walk without falling over, but he didn't give up hope. Bill swore he would do anything for his wife and through that love, an idea was born.
Bill recalled his travels to Asia where people had made trishaws or modified bicycles into food carriers. Bill wondered, could he modify a bike so he could take Glad on rides and continue to enjoy the great outdoors?
The passenger seat would need to face the front. He wanted to be able to talk to Glad and she would need to be able and see the same things he could. Also, he wanted to be able to see her, in case she needed help.
The first bike he made was not a success. It was unstable and dangerous. However, Bill didn't give up - he took the bike idea to his friend Ken. Ken immediately saw the problems . With Ken's skill and knowledge Bill was able to create the first Bikechair.
Since it's early days, the Bikechair has been further developed to ensure safety and comfort.
"We can put the Bikechair in our box trailer to visit nearby beaches and also on a rack behind our Coaster RV when we travel to enjoy special times," says Bill.
"It is a wonderfully liberating experience to be able to get out again together and cycle along bike paths everywhere. I get the exercise I need to stay healthy and my wife loves to meet and greet people along the way".
The sight of Bill and Glad cycling together on their unique tricycle around local bikeways quickly gained the attention of locals resulting in a short video being made which told the couples inspiring story and how the Bikechair came about.
In the video made for YouTube , by Why God?, Bill shared a little more about his relationship with Glad. It is quite moving.
"I am determined to care for her every need. Every need. You see, God has loved us so unconditionally, and I understand that God has put his love in my heart. And because I realize how much God has loved me, that's how I too can love my lovely wife.
She has done so much for me over all of these years. Now she can't, but I can. And I can return her love. And it's a love that, well, to me, means I can do everything for her.
She's my princess. I'm her William. And I wouldn't have it any other way."
As of June 2018, the Bikechair team were are very close to having the first limited run being produced for the Australian market.
Plans were coming together to have the bike available in North America and beyond, but the current situation with COVID-19 has meant that progress has been put on hold due to government restrictions, both in Australia and overseas.
The team are working closely with a physiotherapist and occupational therapist to come up with the most suitable ways of engaging with this product.