By REBECCA WEBSTER
Recorder News Staff
A little more than 10 years ago, local Amsterdam resident Bernie Elwood suffered from a serious back injury, an injury that caused him to stop participating in many of the things he enjoyed.
And that included biking.
“After a while, you can’t golf anymore, you can’t do a lot of different things, and I missed it, so I said, ‘What can I do?’” Elwood recalled.
While going to therapy for his back and knee, Elwood would work out on one of the recumbent bikes, and after a while of pedaling at therapy, decided it was his time to branch out from the therapy rooms and get back into biking outdoors.
So he bought a TerraTrike, a three-wheeled bicycle created by WizWheelz that allows the rider to sit on a backed seat, using side handlebars to steer. The single bikes cost anywhere from $700 to $2,300.
When Elwood bought his trike, there were no TerraTrike dealers in New York, so he sent away to Michigan to have one shipped to his home. After, he found there was just one New York dealer, one 70 miles south of Rochester.
But just last week, Elwood, a retired electrician, brought that New York dealer number to two, when he opened his own TerraTrike shop right in the city of Amsterdam on Reid Street.
In just one week of opening, Elwood said the shop is already exceeding expectations; he has already sold three bikes, one to a Mayfield resident, another to a Glenville resident, and a third to a Vermont resident.
One of the residents was a gentleman who came in with his wife and asked to take one of the bikes for a spin.
“By the time he got back, he had such a smile on his face and said, ‘Honey, I’ve got to have it,’ They bought it on the spot,” Elwood said. “I think it’s going to take off and do very well.”
And Elwood is his own example of the power of the bike. Since using, it, coupled with a new energy spent on taking care of himself, he said he has lost nearly 60 pounds.
Aside from biking now, in the shop, he assembles the bikes that are shipped in pieces, torques them to the specifications, makes measurements, and adjusts them so when they go out to the customer, they are ready to ride.
“They’ve done their homework in putting quality in,” he said of the bike. “It’s made for kids from 8 to 88.”
And he and his wife put a lot of work into fixing up the store-front, at the front of his son’s Reid Street residence, to showcase them.
“We tried to make it as nice as we could,” he said. “We’re trying to do our small part in improving Amsterdam.”
He is hoping that with the work that will be done in the neighborhood through the Community Development Block Grant that the city received, the neighborhood will continue to improve.
As for his shop, he already sees potential.
“I don’t expect miracles, but with the right effort, a little luck, it should do good. Everybody likes the product. Everybody who has ever gotten one of these has been happy with their decision. I am.”
The shop opens Tuesday through Saturday at 9 a.m. and is available Sundays and Monday’s by appointment only.