Technician, athleet, pioneer. Although he sees himself primarily as a technician and a bike builder, Derk has an impressive list of athletic performances.
His creative inventivenesses is the motor behind his performances. Or, as he puts it: “if I come up with something, I want to prove it will work”.
As a technical highlight, he designed and built the rowingbike with the patent pending Snek transmission.
This is where it stands now, but it all started early in the seventies with a career in windsurfing.
Here you’ll find a drawing of a sheet deposited at a civil law notary in january 1978(!) which summons associations with the designs of Leonardo da Vinci. He was years ahead of the windsurf scene, with the kite even decades.
In the passing he developed numerous applications for surfboards and bicycles, and even did some interior design and ergonomics.
In 1985 Thijs began building his first rowingbike. He felt that the typical circling movement of the conventional bike was too unilateral. He looked to the movement of a rowing-skiff for more dimensions, and thus more power and fun. It’s has been a long way from that first prototype. The invaluable experience of 110.000 km on many prototypes of the rowingbike resulted in the design of the new and exciting Thys 222 Rowingbike.
He has worked extensively with Bram Moens, the designer of M5 recumbents. This resulted, amongst other things, in the co-production of two “record recumbents” which set a number of worldrecords.
- History Derk Thijs
- Early THYS recumbent bikes
- Antique rowingbikes
- Other Designs
- Precursors Rowingbike
- Roger Gilmore's list