Monthly Archives: February 2014

Enabling a Big Loser


We are guilty as charged. We have been a major enabler of a really big loser. But before I delve into that, a little back story.

The tricycle you are looking at above is our Model PAV, a semi-recumbent adult tricycle. PAV stands for Personal Activity Vehicle but, for all you Worksman Cycles trivia fans, there is another reason for the “AV” part of the designation. This trike was designed by long-time employee Al Venditti, our “man who does everything.” So in tribute to Al, we weaved his initials into the product name.

We don’t think about that little factoid whenever we sell a PAV and I don’t think Al does either. But it’s a nice story about a really great guy. Al deserves a lot more credit than simply having his initials on a trike. Yet, whenever somebody at the factory brings this up, it allows us to do something very special, and very important: focus on people not products.

So allow me to focus on another person. His name is Joe Lowry. Joe is a big guy standing 6’7″ tall and weighing in at 375 pounds. But Joe is not nearly as big as he once was. In June 2010 when Joe ordered his PAV, he weighed 590 pounds. Joe was driven to return to good health and decided to ride his way there on a Worksman PAV. Joe is not alone. Each and every day we get calls from people who would like to use a bike or trike to get back into shape but who were unable to find a vehicle that could support their weight. That is, until they discover Worksman.

Worksman Cycles are built to withstand the rigors of constant use in industrial and commercial settings. Our cycles are hard at work enabling the largest companies in the world to increase efficiency and profitability. But those same product attributes enable our plus size customers to decrease their weight and live a healthy life.

Our corporate customers thank us by ordering more Worksman Cycles. Our plus size customers thank us in a more personal way: with a heartfelt note or phone call thanking us for producing cycles that helped save their lives.

We live for those notes and phone calls. Or for when we receive thanks from the loved ones of a rider with special needs that has discovered the joy of riding because of a Worksman adult tricycle. It allows us to step back from the rigors of our daily work lives to focus on some of the special people we have helped. People like Joe Lowry – truly a big loser.

Way to go Joe! We look forward to hearing from you again as you work your way down the scale. As your weight plummets, our spirits here at Worksman soar.

If you would like to follow Joe along his journey here’s a link to his FaceBook page.

Bikes as basic transportation – even in winter.

bikein snow

It’s been a brutal winter here in New York, as it has been in so many parts of the country. Sustained periods of weather only a polar bear could love. Still, many people rely on their bikes as their primary means of transportation. Some of these are so-called “diehards” who are committed to using their bikes as opposed to other forms of transportation. But for many others, it is their only choice. Sometimes this is dictated because of geographics, other times by economics, but usually a combination of both. It is these people – those who depend on their bike everyday – who we at Worksman keep in mind when designing bikes.

Consumer bikes make up a small percentage of our sales. Perhaps it’s a function of limited distribution. Perhaps our inability (and refusal) to compete on price vs. low-end imports sold through mass merchants. And perhaps it is because of our limited product range. We don’t make road bikes or mountain bikes. We don’t offer kid’s bikes. Just classic cruisers and roadsters (and tandems!) that we build out of steel. We stubbornly stick to traditional and costly construction methods such as hand brazing our fully lugged frames and using   wet paint instead of powdercoat. That’s just how we do it. And we do it well, creating rock-solid bikes that customers – either commercial or personal – can rely on everyday. Like those folks who ride their bikes in the snow to get to work or to school. Not because they want to ride their bike, but they need to get to where they are going.

While bikeshare programs, carbon fiber road bikes and the latest $3,000 dutch-inspired cargo bikes seem to garner all the press, we stay focused on bikes that are used for their original purpose – inexpensive, dependable transportation.

We salute all those who have ridden their bike this winter, including the 20+ employees here at Worksman who do so everyday.