Catalyst Member recognized in local news for international developments

Last year the Nashville chapter of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization and the Nashville Entrepreneur Center announced the launch of Catalyst, a mentorship program geared toward helping local entrepreneurs grow their companies past $1 million in annual sales.  Participant Phyllis Shelton is seeing both national and international success.

The Tennessean

November 14, 2012

Local pedal vehicle gains international traction

For residents interested in a new, fun way to exercise, one local company is touting a 4-wheel pedal vehicle they say will burn 500 calories an hour. And, depending on the model, it can outfit up to four people at one time.

Rhoades Car, owned by Bill Pomakoy and wife, Phyllis Shelton, manufactures 10 residential pedal push models and eight industrial models from their Hendersonville warehouse, each with a sticker reading ‘Proudly Made in the USA’.

“It’s a 4-wheel bike that drives like a car,” Pomakoy said. “The average weight of each bike is between 75 to 120 pounds and each one can hold up to 750 pounds of equally distributed weight.”

With an average speed of 10 to 15 miles per hour, the Rhoades car can’t be driven on major highways, but it does provide a fun pleasure ride through neighborhoods.

“Kids actually want to go with their parents and grandparents – when do you see that anymore?” said Shelton.

The Rhoades Car follows the same laws as other bicycles, said Pomakoy.

“A 14 year-old can even drive it,” he said.

International exports

The concept is catching on both locally and abroad, Pomakoy said. Recently an order of seven of the bikes went out to Russia where they are being rented as pleasure vehicles in Gorky Park, a famous amusement park in Moscow. Rhoades cars have also been shipped to Mexico, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands and several islands including Antigua and St. Croix.

The bikes can also be custom-made for those with physical limitations, including custom-made seats, Shelton said.

“We are attracting an awful lot of attention from the disabled community,” she said. “Because they don’t tip over, we’re making it possible for people of all abilities to ride a bike. It’s just a completely stable ride - it takes the fear out of cycling for adults. We make it possible for virtually anyone to ride a bike.”

Starting at $1,299, financing is available and the bikes can also be fitted with headlights, taillights and baskets.

Industries wanting to go green are already showing interest in the Rhoades Car, particularly those that transport items throughout the plant.

“Think about employees actually exercising while they are working,” Shelton said.

Power up

The Rhoades Car can be fitted with a small electric motor powered by two small 12-Volt batteries to help take up the pedaling slack. For traveling, they can be hitched to a trailer.

“I have even seen people put them in RV’s,” said Shelton.

The business was originally started in 1991 by Hendersonville resident, David Rhoades. Following his death in 2009, the couple, who were Rhoade’s neighbors, decided to buy the business in 2010.

“Now, we have a network of 12 dealers, including one in Canada,” Pomakoy said.

The next step is to produce a video entitled The 90-Day Rhoade to Wellness to help cycle owners reach their optimum health goals.

For more information and to view more of the bikes, visit



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