The Quadracycles have standard pedals, an electric motor and 4-inch-wide tires. They have a range of about 30-35 miles before needing to recharge.
The Quadracycles have standard pedals, an electric motor and 4-inch-wide tires. They have a range of about 30-35 miles before needing to recharge.
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David Wesley retired from Boeing, where he had been a aircraft configurator, back in 2008.

“The paper design has to first meet all the elements of a successful flight,” he said. “Nobody knew what it looked like until I made the drawing.”

Wesley’s passion for designing solutions didn’t stop when he moved to the Bayview senior living community in Queen Anne with his wife, but now his focus is on improving mobility from the ground rather than the sky.

“That wasn’t exactly the Wright Brothers’ direction,” he said. “They went from bicycles to airplanes.”

Wesley sees his electric-assist four-wheel cycle — which he calls a Quadracycle — as a great way to get around for seniors or anyone else who may have mobility or balance issues.

“I started building recumbents in wood — with a wooden frame — and decided there was a model that I liked, so I would go into metal,” he said. “The first quad I built, and it was a side-by-side, was in 2010.”

Wesley has two Quadracycles at Bayview; one he built in 2013 has a canopy, and then there’s a newer prototype he created in January.

Both recumbents have standard pedals, a thumb throttle for the electric motor, and 4-inch-wide tires. The range for the Quadracycles is around 30-35 miles.

“And so it means that I can go anywhere in Seattle whenever I want,” Wesley said.

The Bayview resident has used his Quadracycle to go to Seattle Center, Golden Gardens and Sand Point, he said.

“The most nervous part is when I’m crossing the Fremont Bridge,” Wesley said. “You have two sides with bicycles and pedestrians going, so it’s small enough for folks going with me and folks against me with that, and I really haven’t had anybody yelling at me.”

He's tested solar panels on his Quadracycle, but he's only been able to get about 70 watts of power, which is not enough for the 20-amp battery, he said.

Wesley said he’s happy to have the freedom to go where he wants, and will soon upgrade the motor for his wife’s Quadracycle, so it can take the same hills as his. He sees the Quadracycle checking off a number of boxes if it were to gain in popularity: reducing people’s carbon footprint, cutting down on vehicle traffic, easing parking issues in Queen Anne, and helping seniors and people with disabilities traverse the city in comfort and safety.

“It’s so great to go out to places and be comfortable, and know I can get back,” Wesley said.

Wesley said he built one Quadracycle in 2018 with a friend in Illinois, who is willing to produce more if there were interest.

“Once he understood it, then we evolved into something that could be manufactured,” Wesley said.