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Monday, Aug. 29, 2016

Local man creates 'Valentine Bicycle' to carry two people

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Lynn Akins shows off the bicycle he built.
SIKESTON - While bicycles, in some form, have been a part of transportation for more than 200 years, Lynn Akins has a new idea for the familiar vehicle.

Akins, a Sikeston resident, has developed what he calls the Valentine Bicycle or Friendship Bicycle.

The vehicle is a regular boy's bike with an extra seat mounted directly in front of the bike's regular seat. There are front foot-rests mounted on the front fork to support the legs. A protector from the spokes will be offered, too.

According to Akins, these modifications enable the Valentine Bike to carry two riders as comfortably as a single rider. Plus, he pointed out, the two individuals sit close enough to have a conversation.

"The bike is a lot of fun," said Akins. "It reminds me of when I was a kid. We used to ride double a lot sitting on the handlebar or sideways on the back holding the seat. Back then, not everyone had a bike, so if you had one, usually you had a friend that didn't so you would ride double."

Akins predicts the bike will be more popular with 12 to 16-year-old bicyclists or adults with a youngster that is too big for a rear carrier but too small to ride a bike alone.

Right now, the bike Akins is proudly showing throughout the Bootheel is one of a kind. "I have the only one and I don't intend to sell it," he said.

However, if someone would like a bicycle similar to his Valentine Bicycle, Akins said he would assist them in recreating his unique form of transportation.

Akins said he would like to patent the design but noted the patent process is costly and time consuming.

For more information on the Valentine Bicycle contact Akins at his home in Sikeston.