GREAT INVENTIONS

Bicycle lawnmower

By Ray Ford

One man's trash is another man's gift to his wife

Bicycle lawnmower

Photo by Sharon Tyhurst

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“Isn’t my husband the greatest?” Sharon Tyhurst wrote to Cottage Life, enclosing a photo of husband Rick’s invention. “I now have my own riding mower at our Lake Superior camp. Thanks, Dear.”

Before other cottagers consider similar gifts, there are two points to stress. First, Sharon’s letter may contain at least a hint of sarcasm. Second, Rick says it’s solely a conversation piece. Spotting a kid’s bike and a seized-up mower at the dump near their Goulais River, Ont., camp, Rick saw the potential for an offbeat sculpture. He hustled the treasures back to the lake, removed the bike’s front wheel, and welded the forks to the reel.

Rick speculates a real version could be made if the bike’s gear ratio could be reduced to go slow enough for good mowing. Brakes and reverse would help too. But for now, it’s something visitors to the camp “can have a beer and talk about,” he says. “When people ask, I just say it’s a mower for Sharon.”

And Sharon’s in no rush for a working model, partly because the Tyhursts have replaced their lawn with low-maintenance wildflowers. “That’s how we like it,” she says. “Very little yard work that way.”


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Ray Ford