Some of our Team at Fully Charged Live 2019
Some of our Team at The Cycle Show 2019
Hi, I'm Andy Murphy, I'm the owner/director of DryCycle Ltd.
I've established successful Companies across Europe and built up Dunster House Ltd (the UK's leading Wooden Garden Building Manufacturer/Retailer - and an unsung hero of the Carbon Capture world) and supplying Companies to a combined turnover of circa £50 million per year.
I've always striven to get as much done as possible in as short a time as possible in order to push things onwards.
Along the way I've always been looking for ways to save time when travelling.
I grew up watching Star Trek: The Next Generation; so it always seemed that the ideal would be to teleport ourselves around the globe. I even got to experience it at the Las Vegas Convention centre (the Trekkies will know what I'm talking about!). Of course, sadly this technology never arrived, so once I’d passed these youthful fantasies I was met with the reality of the working commute.
For many years I was commuting across Europe to spend weeks at a time in small hotel rooms by flying with budget airlines. As the Companies grew I was fortunate enough to be able to buy a small plane and then pilot myself all the way from the UK, to Poland, then Hungary, and on to Estonia, stopping to visit the factories enroute.
Fantastically fun though it was to see all of Europe from 4000 ft, counting all the windmills and solar panels in Germany, dodging snow storms in Poland, and soaring over the Tatra mountain ranges in Slovakia, it became clear to me that with the added paperwork and unforeseen weather delays and air traffic restrictions this was never going to save me time.
I mention this as flying drones and such seem to get a lot of attention for personal transportation. Having had the experience of flying a small aircraft and all that entails, not to mention the noise and propwash I don’t see this as a likely future any time soon at least.
My commute has become more local in recent years, just 10 miles by car, or a mere 6 miles by cycling, due to more direct cycle paths.
I've now reached middle age and have a family, so I've become aware that the priority isn’t always just about saving time, it's about living your life to the full and keeping healthily whilst you do it, so that you’ll be there longer for those around you and more able to help along the way.
So after trying to motivate myself to exercise in a gym (with mixed results) I thought about how I could combine travelling with exercising to save time and stay healthy for longer.
I didn’t have a DryCycle to start with of course, so I bought an electric bicycle and commuted to work with that during the summer months. I took my car whenever it was raining or whenever I needed to transport more people, so this meant that I used my bicycle about twice a week in the summer, and hardly at all at any other time of year, and I was forever checking the weather forecast – a bit similar to flying really!
What I learned most from the E-bike is that top quality electric bicycles with the very best mid drive motors have more than enough power to get them quickly up to their top speed of 15.5mph before the motor then cuts out. In fact it seems a bit wasted really, surely it would be better to accelerate a bit more slowly due to added weight but use that weight to have an enclosed vehicle so that it’s useful in all weathers and offers crash protection.
Other Companies in Europe were making and selling cargo ‘bikes’ (usually 3 or 4 wheels rather than 2), and advertising them as suitable for carrying 250kg in cargo (this is on top of the weight of the rider and 'bike' itself), with the same 250 watt motors as E-bikes, so surely an enclosed commuter vehicle for one person would not only be possible, but, with 88% of people commuting alone and the average commute being only 9.1 miles, a good idea?
Well, we certainly think it is, and that’s why I formed DryCycle Ltd to bring this idea to the market and get others to discover just how fun and comfortable exercising on your commute can be.
This Company is not all about me of course, but hopefully my story will inspire you to see how a DryCycle might fit into your life. Along the way I’ve hired a very skilled ex-aerospace/ex-motorsport engineer to develop the vehicle with me (who shuns the limelight so doesn’t want his name mentioned), and we have a team of others from carpenters (to make initial moulds for vacuum forming), welders (for the framework) and electricians working to get it ready for our customers. We've also contracted out a lot of work to other local Companies. The aluminium moulds for the plastic bodywork have been CNC cut in Hertfordshire, the wiring harnesses are made in Nottinghamshire, the polycarbonate 'glasshouse' is formed by one English Company and then coated by another to give it a hard wearing surface, the windscreen wiper system is made near Gloucester, to name but a few. In this global world, we're trying to keep it local, as it's ecologically better, and because there is a great deal of talent here in the UK.
All of these high quality components are then brought together and assembled by our experienced staff here in Bedford.
We’ve also had it tested by Bureau Veritas (a third party testing organisation near Liverpool) to show the robustness of the product over various test cycles of 100,000 repetitions of various parts, such as the steering, and framework flexing. We also spent a lot of time designing in crash safety measures and we're very fortunate here in Bedford to have a world class vehicle testing facility just down the road from us. So we had two of our DryCycles crash tested at the renowned Millbrook Proving Grounds, you can see the videos and results here.
We look forward to welcoming many DryCyclists to test ride our vehicle at our Bedford factory, come and try it, we're sure you’ll enjoy it!
Our focus has always been on making the DryCycle as comfortable, user friendly, delightful, low maintenance and fun as possible, whilst providing a vehicle that needs the rider to exercise in order to move, and keeps them safe and dry, and impacts on our environment as little as possible.
We like to think we’re realistic in what we think DryCycles can achieve, given the price point of the vehicle. We don’t think they’re going to take over the world and become the main means of transport, but we do think that they can, and should, be a part of the transportation mix for health conscious buyers who want to experience a completely new form of transport and make good use of the rapidly growing network of cycle paths.
Our main reason for designing the DryCycle is to improve the riders health throughout the year with regular exercise, not just weather dependent exercise as a bicycle is more typically used for, and we think there is no better motivation to exercise than having to do so in order to arrive at your chosen destinations. There is something elemental in this, that harkens back to almost the entirety of our evolution where we actually had to move in order to get where we wanted to go, and that makes exercising whilst travelling inherently fun! We're sure you'll enjoy it as much as we do!
‘…why move a heavy weight if we are not going to hit [destroy] anything with it? In transportation why put extra weight in a machine? Why not add it to the load that the machine is designed to carry? Fat men cannot run as fast as thin men but we build most of our vehicles as though dead−weight fat increased speed! A deal of poverty grows out of the carriage of excess weight. Some day we shall discover how further to eliminate weight.'
~ Henry Ford, My Life and Work
Henry Ford's first vehicle was his quadricycle, which was quite small, but heavy in comparison to the DryCycle, due to the technology of the day.
Of course there are plenty of other benefits in building a small lightweight enclosed vehicle, in terms of reducing the energy used to produce it and the energy needed to move it, so the Drycycle is also a very environmentally sound choice of transport as well.
With a DryCycle you can have your cake and eat it; then cycle away to burn it off! Saving both you and our environment!
Here's some of the photos we've taken along the way. Please note that these are prototype DryCycles and not the finished production version.
Registered Company Number: 11904360
VAT Number: 330 8536 13