Julie and John Festerling have a new means of transportation. John built this quadricycle at his home using spare bicycle parts, wood, and PVC pipe. John and Julie Festerling ride their quadricycle down Second Street. Note the slow moving vehicle sign on the back. Mascot photo by Scott Thoma.


Minneota couple enjoys travel by quadricycle

They look sweet, upon the seat ... of a quadricyle built for two.
And this quadricycle literally was built for two. John Festerlinger removed tires from two old bicycles and made a two-seat quadricycle that he and his wife Julie enjoy riding together.
"I recently retired and I wanted to lose a few pounds," smiled John, while placing his hands on his midsection to emphasize his point. "So I made this to ride around in and get a little exercise."
John saw a similar quadricycle kit for sale online, although it didn't come cheap. So he decided he had enough spare parts, wood and other items to build his own quadricycle.
"Some of the quadricycles I saw online were $1,200 to $1,400," he noted. "I imagine there are some even more than that. I made this one for a couple of hundred bucks or so. I've always thought about making one, but I don't weld so I made mine out of wood, PVC pipe and parts off old bicycles."
John is a retired principal/teacher at Samuel Lutheran School in Marshall. He also directed of the church choir there. Julie is a retired kindergarten teacher at Samuel Lutheran.Samuel Lutheran is a Lutheran Elementary School owned and operated by Christ Lutheran Church and has students from pre-school to eighth grade.
The Festerlings have lived in Minneota since 2001.
"I had a little more time on my hands now that I'm retired, and with the COVID, there isn't much going on anyway," John said. "I've built go-karts before so I had some experience in that area. I started making this one at the beginning of June and was done on the Fourth of July."
Because of the Festerlings' musical interests, John sawed a portion of a keyboard off from an old grand piano and placed the keys on the front of the quadricycle as a showpiece.
The seats were made out of an old cabinet door with foam padding covered in a colorful vinyl cloth. The frames of the seats are made from PVC pipe.
John tinkered with getting the pedaling devices in synch so when the couple rides together, they can enjoy a smooth ride as both driver and rider pedal together. Because Julie is much shorter than John, however, he added wooden blocks on her pedals so she can reach them easier.
"I'd like to put a cover over it eventually, too," said John about the quadricycle.
The quadricycle also features a small wooden trailer in the back with a slow-moving vehicle sign affixed to it.
"In case we want to ride down to Brad's (Market) or Gislason's (Hardware) or somewhere else to pick something up," Julie explained.
The quadricycle's turning system is designed like an old vintage automobile with a single-stick steering column instead of a steering wheel. There is a brake lever on each side of a seat; the driver's side controls the rear brakes and the passenger side the front brakes.
The six-speed gear shift is just behind the driver's side brake in case John wants to shift to a higher or lower gear depending on the incline.
"I've always thought Minneota was flat until I started riding in this," John laughed.
They have become the talk of the town with their bright royal blue quadricycle traveling around town. While Minneota features an abundance of people traveling within city limits via golf carts, the Festerlings prefer foot power.
"I knew it was something (John) wanted. And when he was done, I thought it was pretty nice," Julie said, when asked what she thought when her husband told her he wanted to build a quadricycle.

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