The Times-Picayune (New Orleans, La.)              Metro Section - page, B-2           Sunday July 13th, 1986

Burst of insight is mother of invention

by Gayle Ashton staff writer

Sibling Cycle in use
"The first step is an intuition — and comes with a burst, then difficulties arise. Time, hard work, and some good luck are necessary."
Thomas Edison
At left, Milissa Doyle uses Louellen Berger's Sibling Cycle to give a ride to her cousin, Patrick Doyle, and her daughters, Katherine and Rebecca.

Staff Photos by Bevil S. Knapp and G. Andrew Boyd

(excerpt from article)

Bike seat built for three

When a grown woman tinkers with tricycles for years, it may mean they're not just for kids.

It was after Louellen Aden Berger had her second child, late in 1979, that she realized the dilemma: She had to find a bicycle child carrier built for two.

When Berger, 37, couldn't find anything she liked on the market, she determined to get a special bike made. By the spring of 1980 a prototype existed: a regular bike in the front, with two wheels in the back and a long seat that could hold three children.

But bicycle shop workers kept saying the balance wasn't there. The cycle sometimes reared up and tipped over backward - "the bottom line was, ‘Lady, you're nuts,'" Berger said.

She persevered, and, along the way, got some design advice from some unorthodox sources: the owner of a general contracting company, an architect and an interior designer all helped modify the machine.

"I was testing it every time I rode it," she said."First with a baby 20 months old, and one 6 months. Then expecting a third child. Then expecting a fourth child."

Finally, she got something she could safely ride by the summer of 1980. Every time she took it into Audubon Park people stopped her and asked, "Where did you get that bike?" Berger said. Her husband rode it once and got the same treatment. They decided she had a marketable idea.

Four years later, Sibling Cycles was incorporated. Berger has filed for a design patent and has sold almost all of the initial 100 machines made. Now she is discussing mass-manufacturing with a cycle company.

Berger said her mother always told her that "necessity is the mother of invention." She now turns that around and prints it on the company's brochures: "Mother is the inventor of necessities."

Note: emphasis added

O'Connor Technical Systems

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