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September's Critical Mass ride featured a most unusual 'bike'

Oct. 06, 2012 @ 12:00 AM

HUNTINGTON -- At September's monthly Critical Mass bicycle tour there was quite an eclectic collection of bicycles among the 95 riders.

While there was everything from kid-carting Yubas and classic Schwinn tandems to several brand new trail-a-bikes, nothing was quite as wild as Traci Fisher's four-wheel and 42-speed bike called a Rhoades Car, that she was pedaling with her cousin Daniel Fisher.

Traci Fisher, who lives in Ironton, has been pedaling the Rhoades Cars all over the Tri-State as she and her dad, Richard, are now partners in Ironton Rhoades Car, a new dealership for the family of pedal cars built outside Nashville, Tenn.

Traci Fisher started about a month ago helping her dad get out the word about the bikes and the many models, including several cargo models that hold up to four people, and some that also come equipped with electric motors.

Richard Fisher, who perhaps is best known in the area of late as one of the folks leading the charge to restore the historic Ro-Na Theatre in downtown Ironton, got a Rhoades Car in April upon his retirement.

Following his purchase, a representative of Rhoades, whose theme is "The 4-wheel bike that drives like a car," asked him if they'd like to start a dealership in the Tri-State to showcase and sell the unique bikes that are built in Hendersonville, Tenn. There are 12 dealerships around the nation from California to Florida.

Since her dad has ended up going back to work and has been on the road in Indiana, Traci Fisher said she felt led to step in and help her dad sell and market the Rhoades Car, which was named the "Green Business Innovator of the Year" last year by the Green Business Summit.

"Business is what I do, so I told him that while he was gone I would talk and do everything I know to do to help with the business," she said. "I felt like I've been working for so many other people making their dreams come true and this is my dad. Why not in these best years of my life try and help him with his dreams?"

She said the main thing right now is just letting folks see their models. In just a few weeks, she and the Rhoades Car have really gotten around.

She has had them at the Ironton High School football games, and in addition to showcasing the bicycle at Huntington's monthly Critical Mass ride through Huntington, has been taking folks at an Ironton senior center for rides around town.

Fisher said they had a blast at the September Critical Mass and were excited to join so many different people of all ages out enjoying cycling in the city.

"It was kind of what I had hoped for in my most ideal thoughts of what it would be," she said of Critical Mass.

Upcoming events for the Ironton Rhoades Car includes a bicycle rodeo at Ashland's Central Park on Sunday, Oct. 14 as well as at the KYOVA Mall on Oct. 31.

Rhoades Cars will also have a booth at the RV and Boat Show set for January 2013 at the Big Sandy Superstore Arena.

Fisher said while there is work to do in continuing to get out the word on the unique bikes, the job of helping her pops with the business is already paying off.

"They really are a lot of fun and that's what has been so great about it, I am not a bicyclist and hadn't been on a bike since I was like 13 or 14. Since dad got these I've found myself not feeling right if I'm not out on a leisurely ride every day," Fisher said. "I had a friend of mine riding with me on the Go-Boy, and we're really close, awkwardly close, and we just started laughing until tears came out of our eyes. So it really is too much fun."

For more information on the Rhoades Cars, including pricing, visit www.rhoadescar.com. For information on the Ironton dealership, call 740-646-4821 or visit the Rhoades website.