For a dedicated recumbent cyclist that was not an very acceptable condition to be in. This motivated me to start working on a solution. This was the birth of the AWS. I used tent material and aluminium poles for my first improvised rain cover.
In the meantime my career led me to live in Mainz. From here I rode my Fateba recumbent with my self-made rain protection to visit the manufacturers of the recumbent in Winterthur in Switzerland. For the entire two days that it took for the ride it rained, non-stop, but the AWS construction passed the test, I arrived in Winterthur cheerful and dry. After critical analysis of what I had designed and built, Fateba asked me to manufacture several prototypes for customer testing.
With that, the whole thing became serious, I had to invest in proper equipment and find the right materials. Several months later I provided Fateba with half a dozen AWS prototypes.
The feedback from the customers allowed me to work out the initial problems regarding functionality and safety. For example, it proved to be a safety concern to have the hood directly attached to the cape as this prevented proper shoulder checking of traffic as well as being a road tire noise transmitter to the ears. A separate detached hood took care of the shoulder checking problem, and resulted in a dramatic reduction of audible tire road noise.
More and more customers who experienced recumbent riding in the rain with an AWS never wanted to be without an AWS again.
In 1992 my other job required me to move to Sindelfingen (near Stuttgart), but this did not interfere with the AWS project. It was here that I was able to develop the AWS for the Tübinger All-Purpose recumbent bicycle.
In June 1994 the AWS Products won first and third in the HPV competition in Aachen for "Weather protection solutions for recumbents"
In July 1994 my other job meant a move to wonderful Boulder Colorado. During these 3 years I had to reduce the AWS project to a bare minimum. After our return to Germany, the project gained new momentum and is located in Tutzing (just south of Munich). Here it remains to this day. Tutzing is a perfect location, and AWS will continue to develop new products to help a wider range of recumbent cyclists in the future.