Senior design project allows disabled local to ride RAGBRAI

Berlin native Derek Roncaioli’s senior design project for mechanical engineering at Iowa State was to find a way for a gentleman named Bud, who is blind and has severe muscle control problems to ride in RAGBRAI. He had a stroke when he was 16 years old which impaired him and since then he has wanted to ride in RAGBRAI.

RAGBRAI, The Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa, is an annual seven-day bicycle ride across the state. Heading into its 40th year, RAGBRAI is the oldest, largest and longest bicycle touring event in the world. The Des Moines Register Media has been the title sponsor of RAGBRAI since 1973. The ride will take place July 22-28, 2012.

“The design we came up with is shown in the pictures,” Roncaioli said. “We welded the frame ourselves with exceptions of the standard mountain bike frame in the rear. The dual pedaling is possible with the hum mounted in the middle of the bike allowing the front rider to assist the rear rider in powering the back wheel. The seat mount, handles, and harness mount was all designed and built by the group from scratch and the frame was powder coated locally to match the Iowa State colors.”

The full article and photos can be found here.