By Tim Anderson
On a recent trip to Nicaragua, I saw a variety of homemade
technologies. I met Juan Ramon (see photos at right) riding his
front-wheel drive wheelchair in the town of Granada. He went
zipping by in traffic. When I waved, he spun it around and zoomed up
to talk to me.
It’s a 5-speed, or 15-speed if he shifts the top chain- around as fast as a bicycle, but it’s also great exercise.
wheel by hand. The pedals have been replaced by Many handicapped people in the U.S. have trouble
handles. The back part is a regular wheelchair. The getting enough exercise, and suffer higher rates
front part attaches just the same way the front caster of obesity and cardiovascular disease as a result.
assembly used to. This hand-pedal wheelchair is a Here’s an assortment of the other handmade
great design solution. Not only does it allow him to get technologies I saw.
I saw a lot of different kinds of bicycles modified with welding.
There are plenty of rickshaw drivers here and every rickshaw
is different. The lid on this bike’s cargo box (pictured above)
opens up to display the vendor’s wares. And this bike (at left)
uses casters from an office chair for a headset and has foot-operated front brakes.