Author Archives: Phyllis Shelton

The People Who Inspire Us

We all know who they are. The history teacher who made you believe you were smart enough to go to college. The coach who made you better than you thought you could ever be. Your five year old child who taught you how to deal with grief when your dad passed away.

For Paula Weatherly, it was her husband of 30 years, Philip Todd Weatherly. For me, it’s Paula as well as Phil. Phil had departed this life by the time she woke up Monday morning after doing really well over the 4th of July holiday weekend, joking and enjoying his family as he always did. When we spoke the next day, in one breath she was saying she didn’t know how she could possibly live without him. In the next, she said she chooses to thank God for the time they had together…all 30 years of it…and she refuses to complain about the time they won’t have. Having talked with Paula many times since Phil was diagnosed with cancer a few months ago, I knew she loved him more than life itself. To hear her make that statement humbled me immensely as I thought about all the reasons I can find to complain about something.

Phil came to Hendersonville, Tennessee for his dealer training and the Rhoades Car experience as we like to call it. He spent the night at the Rhoades Car lodge and couldn’t say enough great things about the steak dinner he enjoyed.

Rhoades Car Lodge

Rhoades Car Lodge

After a full day of dealer training, we found time for a tour of Hendersonville before his plane left the next day. We laughed for hours as he found plenty to say about my Nascar driving!

After he left, Bill and I were inspired and uplifted by the sheer joy that emanated from this man. He was our newest dealer, and yet we felt as though he was an old friend.  The terrible illness that took his life did nothing to dampen his joy. He had a large family and was extremely busy as he balanced his family time with his equipment rental business and with his Rhoades Car dealership. Yet he never made us feel rushed or minimized when we called him. He was one of those rare individuals who truly had enough love to go around. Here he is with Tripp and Charlee, his son Brandon’s children and Addy, who belongs to his daughter Cathryn…

phil weatherly with grandchildren…and with a Rhoades Car workbike:

Phil Weatherly (web)





When someone like Phil Weatherly passes from this life to the next, I think the most important lesson they would impart to us if they could is for us to appreciate the people in our lives today.

Philip Todd Weatherly (1958-2015)

Phyllis Shelton, VP of Marketing, Rhoades Car

Start the National Bike Challenge on May 1st with a Rhoades Car

We often hear the question, “Where can you ride a Rhoades Car?” Our usual answer is through neighborhoods, small towns, parks and greenways. The one person models are barely three feet wide and the 2 person GoBoy is 38.5” wide so many bike lanes will accommodate that width. However, we have two new customer stories that we wanted to share about how a Rhoades Car is being used. They are simply too good not to share!

Retired Air Force Colonel Joel Martin

Ret. Colonel Joel Martin

Ret. Colonel Joel Martin

Colonel Martin and his wife Elizabeth are relocating to the Marshall Islands where he will be working as a tropical meteorologist. Their new residence, the beautiful island of Kwajalein, is about 2300 miles southwest of Hawaii. So the Martins will have a few years in paradise….but a challenge arose in this spectacular move. No cars are allowed on Kwajalein. Colonel Martin is an adventurous soul…his nickname in the military is “Phoon” as he likes to chase typhoons from time to time! So this challenge didn’t deter him at all because he had been seeing Rhoades Car ads in magazines like Popular Mechanics for years and had always wanted one. His new SportPed is just leaving the west coast on a barge this week to Kwajalein. He chose the large curved windshield for its wind resistance and UV ray protection. He chose mag wheels to avoid rust from the nearby salt water. He chose a cargo box so he can transport his equipment easily as he rides around the island. Also of significant interest is that he wants to lose as few pounds and he knows the pedal power will get him there! He told us today that he may upgrade to a pedal assist solar-powered motor once he gets the lay of the land.

We are very excited about having Colonel Martin in the Rhoades Car family because he is a professional photographer and videographer as well. You can see some of his beautiful work here: He will be sending us spectacular pictures of his new Rhoades Car very soon.

But you don’t have to live on an exotic island to enjoy a Rhoades Car.

Dr. Stephanie Timmer

Zooming back to the U.S., Dr. Stephanie Timmer, the only visually impaired member of the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Team, is riding her 4 seater Cycle Car all over Naperville, IL (population 145,000). She rides it 3 miles through subdivisions to her gym and her throwing field. It’s a quick ride from her condo to downtown Naperville. When she goes to a restaurant, she valet parks. When she has her children, they ride in the back seat. She reports that a Mini-Cooper car cover makes a perfect cover for her Rhoades Car. She is adding a stereo and matching cup holder plus some Olympic decals. Now, she intentionally did not get a motor as she considers pedal power part of her exercise program. The police are very friendly toward her as they view her Cycle Car as a bike.

So these are two great stories that amplify our answer about where one can ride a Rhoades Car. But here’s an additional list from our FAQ page that will make you smile:

  • an eco-friendly family in Greensburg, KS who recently gave up their gas-powered family car for a 4-person Rhoades Cycle Car with electric motor
  • Grandparents in NC who “had the best vacation of their lives” with their teenaged grandchildren
  • An undertaker in Texas who needed a novel way to advertise his business
  • A lady in Ohio, who waged a political campaign from her 2 seat Rhoades Car
  • A guy in Florida starting his second trip around the state by bike
  • A lady from Rochester New York who rode a Greyhound bus to our plant in Tennessee to pick up her 2-person Cycle Car — and then rode it home.
  • The state Governor of a Middle Eastern oil country who had two 4-person Rhoades Car bikes flown over to him. (We’re really not sure what he’s using them for!).

So what you waiting for? The National Bike Challenge starts today! Let People for Bikes (the sponsoring organization) know that you are knockin’ it out of the park on a RHOADES CAR!

National Bike Challenge Starts May 1st

National Bike Challenge Starts May 1st

You know what comes next….mention this article and we will be happy to give you a 15% discount to make it easier for you to acquire your very own Rhoades Car.*

Contact us NOW to discuss your favorite model.

*10% for any one-seater model. Both discounts are in addition to the May special…a free speedometer! ($62 value but saves a lot of money on speeding tickets…kidding!)



Rhoades Car Owners Experience Significant Weight Loss

The country is fat. Over two-thirds are overweight or obese (68.7%) according to the National Bureau of Health Statistics. Obesity rates have grown from 15% in 1976-80 to 35% today. Why should we care about this growing (pun intended) phenomenon?

“If we fail to reverse our nation’s obesity epidemic, the current generation of young people may be the first in American history to live sicker and die younger than their parents’ generation.” (Source: “F as in Fat 2013: How Obesity Threatens America’s Future”, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, 8/13)

This report says an integral part of the solution is to emphasize biking and walking. In other words, shows like Leave It to Beaver and My Three Sons commonly saw kids biking and walking. Shows today spotlight kids on Smart Phones sitting in fast food restaurants or on the couch at home.

We at Rhoades Car see these stats as totally unacceptable and are working hard to contribute to the solution. The following four testimonials from our customers tell what we are doing much better than we can tell you. The first one just came in last week:

Hope you remember us. I am the short little fat lady that u built a bike especially for me. You guys forgot to tell me how hard it was going to be to pedal this bike but I have mastered 14 miles a day and lost 30 pounds. We have given several people your number we are stopped constantly and asked where we got the bike from. People are taking pictures and stop us. It becomes difficult to get in a good ride. It is hard work but I love my bike and it is special to me. I cannot thank you enough for working with us. (Dorothy Zaiger, Glen Haven, FL 030915)

What are the chances she would be going to a gym or some other type of exercise facility? What are the chances she would be walking 14 miles a day? She is riding her Rhoades Car because she loves it. She loves it because it’s something she can DO…SAFELY.

Second, we’ve been reporting regularly on Dean Cagley in White House, TN who has now lost 215 lbs. since January, 2014!  At that time, he was in a wheel chair, facing back surgery for spinal stenosis. He has avoided surgery, now walks without a cane, and is back to work. He rides his Rhoades Car twice a day on a nearby greenway. His wife goes with him in the evening and has maintained a 50 lb. weight loss. Again, let him tell you:

Third, Stella, a 58 year old woman from Arkansas, reported a 42 lb. weight loss on her Rhoades Car, which she loves so much she named “Rhoda”. Many people say “it’s too hilly where I live”. You can see in Stella’s testimonial that she rode it on steep hills while she lost the weight. She moved to a place with flat ground and she says she has to pedal a lot harder and faster to keep up the level of exercise she was used to.

Fourth, a viewer on the Rhoades Car YouTube page had this to say:

“I just want to say that you people have an amazing product, this vehicle is also a good instrument for health and exercise. Can you imagine the overall health benefits that people will get from the use of this vehicle if they made this a core part of their lifestyle followed with a regular diet of fruits and vegetables, especially with the obesity epidemic going on in the nation, this will definitely be a blessing for anyone to own one this will definitely be a blessing for anyone to own one of these, it looks fun too. Keep up the good work and God bless.”   042514

Most people will agree it’s very, very difficult to maintain a diet and exercise program. Tread mills and stair climbers often end up as coat hangers. For the most part, people who invest in a Rhoades Car use it, and that’s a huge reason for these success stories. Moreover, many buy a two-seater because they can exercise with and enjoy spending quality time with someone they care about. Some buy four seaters and it becomes a family affair.

How about you? Need or want to drop some pounds? Want to spend time with someone in a fresh, outdoor setting away from television and video games? Spring is just around the corner and there simply isn’t a better time to enjoy a Rhoades Car. Then you can send us YOUR story and it will be YOU that we are talking about! spring

Maintaining a reasonable weight is not just about looking great. It extends your life so you have more time to spend with the people you love. If you mention this article, we will be happy to give you a 15% discount to make it easier for you to acquire your very own Rhoades Car.* Call us at 800-531-2737 between 8-5 CST Monday – Friday to claim your discount.  

*10% for any one-seater model

14 Miles a Day on a Rhoades Car!

Hope you remember us. I am the short little fat lady that u built a bike especially for me. You guys forgot to tell me how hard it was going to be to pedal this bike but I have mastered 14 miles a day and lost 30 pounds. We have given several people your number we are stopped constantly and asked where we got the bike from. People are taking pictures and stop us. It becomes difficult to get in a good ride. It is hard work but I love my bike and it is special to me. I cannot thank you enough for working with us. Dorothy Zaiger Glen Haven, FL 030915

Rhoades Car Opens Doors to Non-Drivers (best article ever?)

We shout out a big thank you to Dess Yankova with The Tennessean for writing what may be the best story ever written about Rhoades Car. Our boy Jackson is especially happy with it because he made the picture she took which was on the front page of the Sumner County section of the Sunday paper.* Here’s the story:

White House, Tennessee resident Dean Cagley cannot wait to pedal his Rhoades car.

Cagley has lost more than 200 pounds, walks longer distances, returned to work, made new friends and feels better overall thanks to his car — technically a quadricycle. Based in Hendersonville, Rhoades Car is a local well-kept secret that’s getting out.

“So many people don’t know we’re here,” Rhoades Car Vice President Phyllis Shelton said. “They’re so surprised when they find us.”

Chris Spann and Phyllis Shelton on SolarPed with weatherproof cover

Chris Spann and Phyllis Shelton on SolarPed with weatherproof cover (photo: Dess Yankova)

Riders can choose pedal, plug or sunbathe to power the environmentally-friendly vehicles that in 2014 received international exposure when Prince Harry rode a Rhoades Car 2-person model during the grand opening of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London.

London recently received another order — The GoBoy X4, the latest four-seat model allowing all four passengers to pedal.

Bikeworks UK Brings GoBoy X4 to London

In addition to most states in the U.S., Rhoades Car also sells to Germany, Denmark, The Netherlands, Mexico, Thailand and Russia where the cars are rented as pleasure vehicles in Gorky Park, a famous amusement park in Moscow. The company is also in distribution conversations with Lebanon, Qatar and Antigua.

From the Hendersonville warehouse, master builder Chris Spann manufactures 20 residential and industrial models available in multiple speeds and with various features. Depending on the model, the cars can seat one to five riders. Features include head and tail lights, turn signals, adjustable mirrors, hand cushions, seatbelts, UV-protection windshield and zip-up walls.

“Each takes one or two days to make,” said Spann, whose hands have built the cars for 15 years. “They use a seven-speed axle-driven bike system and people can order one horse-power electrical motor and two 12-volt deep-cycle batteries.”

At under 20 mph, riders can travel 21 miles with an overnight regular outlet charge without pedaling. They could go much further with pedaling and sun power, which charges an optional solar panel in four hours.

Company co-owner and Shelton’s husband, Bill Pomakoy, had to double check with a professional when he test-drove a car for 17 miles on a sunny day.

“The batteries were still fully charged,” he said. “I couldn’t believe it.”

Car gives freedom

Not requiring driver’s license, insurance or tags, the cars are particularly fitting for people with physical limitations or conditions preventing them from driving other vehicles.

One of the company’s newest customers Illinois resident Stephanie Timmer, the only vision impaired member of the U.S. Olympics throwing team, expects her Rhoades car any day. The vehicle, says Timmer, who last had a car 30 years ago, will save time from walking and allow her to ride with her two daughters.

“This will be our car, and we’ll go everywhere with it,” said Timmer, 48. “It will give us a new level of freedom and access to a lot more activities. I cannot wait.”

The Rhoades car has already done that for another Illinois resident Bill Reid. Reid, 52, felt depressed and isolated after losing his job because of his condition 13 years ago until the vehicle gave him back his life. Riding his car for 12 years now, Reid spends more time with family, participates in parades and meets new people every time he pedals out.

Wilma, Bill & Mary Ann Reid from Oak Forest, IL

Wilma, Bill & Mary Ann Reid from Oak Forest, IL

When he got a flat tire in 2014, the only problem his vehicle’s ever had, his family changed it at the Hendersonville warehouse, where Reid got a personal tour.

“They treated him like royalty,” his mother, Wilma Reid, 72, said. “We couldn’t have asked to be treated any nicer. Bill very much wants to be a part of the real world and the car does that for him.”

Ranging from $1,350 to $11,000, depending on features, the car weighs between 75 and 120 pounds. But they can carry up to 750 pounds.

Cagley, however, plans to take even more weight off his car as soon as the weathers allows.

Dean Cagley

Dean Cagley

“The Rhoades car allowed me to go out and exercise,” Cagley, 51, said. “I couldn’t ride any other bicycle because of my weight and back problems. It made all the difference in my attitude and how I feel.”

Did you know?

Hendersonville’s David Rhoades invented the Rhoades car quadricycle in 1991. When he died in 2009, the business was going to shut down until his neighbors Bill Pomakoy and Phyllis Shelton, who run a long-term care insurance company, promised to find a buyer for the Rhoades Car business.

“I looked at their records, and I found a buyer: It was me,” Pomakoy said. “The uniqueness of the product and how committed the founder was intrigued me, and I felt the desire to continue his dream.”

Stay tuned for the newest Rhoades model: a police/delivery vehicle with backup camera, solar panel, large storage compartment, loud horn and phone/laptop chargers. The company is also crafting a prototype car to pitch to the Robertson family from the popular A&E series “Duck Dynasty.”


Keep your New Year’s Resolution…get fit with someone you love in your very own Rhoades Car. Check out our New Year’s special that ends January 31st!

AND – look for a really big announcement about Rhoades Car this week!

*This article appeared online 1-16-15 and in print 1-18-15. Reach Dessislava Yankova at 575-7170 and on Twitter @desspor.

Tennessean reporter Dess Yankova

Tennessean reporter Dess Yankova

Tennessean Dess Yankova with Jackson and Jed

Dess Yankova with Jackson (right) and Jed Clampett




Rhoades Car Goes to London (Again) with New London Dealer

Exciting news—our new GoBoy X4 that allows all four passengers to pedal has traveled across the Atlantic and is a hit in London…thanks to our new London dealer Bikeworks and thanks to the growing interest in London to make a way for people of all abilities to ride a bike! Here’s the story:

You may remember that we have Bikeworks and Motivate East to thank for getting Prince Harry and Mayor Boris Johnson to ride a Rhoades Car on April 4, 2014 at the grand opening of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park (QEOP). That story made USA Today and BBC. So just who and what are these influential organizations?

Here’s the BEST part!! Bikeworks is now set up to offer all Rhoades Car models! Shipping from our factory to London is now less than two weeks so Londonites can become a Rhoades Car owner in a very short period of time.


Jim Blakemore, Co-Founder and Director, explained that Bikeworks was formed eight years ago as a not-for-profit community interest company to help people of all abilities ride bikes. Bikeworks has outreach programs across London to go to disability centers and special needs schools, assigning people who are interested in riding bikes to clubs in east and west London.

Bikeworks also works with Motivate East, a community-based sport activation group that was established three years ago with funding from Sport England, a government-funded sports body. Motivate East is a subsidiary of London Legacy Development Corporation, which runs the entire Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. 2015 plans for QEOP is to make it a true center of health and wellness with programs for fighting obesity and improving cardiovascular health. As part of this effort, Bikeworks is launching a new disability hub in QEOP in February or March. The GoBoy X4 is for this new club.

“We looked at a conference bike, which is a Dutch bike that allows five people to sit in a circle and pedal. We think the GoBoy X4 is more practical because with all riders facing in the same direction, it looks more like normal transportation,” Jim said. “The whole idea is to get more people engaged in biking, regardless of their physical ability.” He believes as we at Rhoades Car do that the more fun you can make exercise, the more likely people are to do it.

And these guys are having fun! That’s Jim Blakemore on the left front with his whippet Bow Belle, seated next to senior mechanic Cameron Jarvis in the driver’s seat. The smiling face in back is Jolyon Whaymand, the All Ability Cycling Program Manager.

Any plans to get Royalty on the GoBoy X4, we had to ask? Jim says not in the near future, but he thinks London Mayor Boris Johnson may attend the launch of the new QEOP disability hub. Then in August, London has a free cycle day, which means everyone can ride a bike in central London. Who knows who might see the GoBoy X4 pedaling past Buckingham Palace?

In the meantime, here’s your chance to own the original 2 person Cycle Car (the same model Prince Harry rode) with our New Year’s sale…15% off for any 2 person Cycle Car with or without a motor!