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Adaptive Cycling: Handcycles, Amputee Adaptation, Visual Impairment, and Other Needs Have a need for adaptive equipment to ride to compensate for a disability or loss of limb or function? This area is for discussion among those of us in the cycling world that are coming back from traumatic circumstances and tell the world, "No, you are not going to beat me down!"

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Old 03-26-15, 11:26 AM   #1
BrockLee
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Autism on a Bike

I notice the description for this area of Bike Forum says, "This area is for discussion among those of us in the cycling world that are coming back from traumatic circumstances..."

I think that description should be expanded to include ALL people with disabilities. Moving on...

My son is 12 and has autism. And he loves bikes. But until recently he could not/would not ride a two-wheeler on his own. A couple weeks ago we bought him a new bike. It's a bike unlike any other that we, as his parents, had seen. It's the Jamis Hudson. What makes this particular bike just right for my son? Two things;

1. It has a single brake lever that controls both front and rear brakes, putting most of the stopping power into the rear. That means there's no danger of him pulling the wrong lever and flying over the handlebars.

2. The shifting all takes place in the rear hub. That drastically simplifies shifting. Most bikes, as you know, have to be moving and you have to be pedaling when you shift gears. Not with the Jamis Hudson.

Just thought I'd share that. :-)
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Old 03-26-15, 11:28 AM   #2
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Neat, thanks for sharing! I know someone whose child could benefit from one of these bikes.
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Old 03-26-15, 11:31 AM   #3
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Oh, here's a picture of his bike. It doesn't look as sporty as I'd prefer, but my son doesn't care. It surely beats anything you can buy at Walmart or Target.

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Old 03-30-15, 08:05 PM   #4
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Very nice. Thanks. My 10 year old son has autism, so I'll look into it for him.
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Old 03-31-15, 01:12 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by BrockLee View Post
Oh, here's a picture of his bike. It doesn't look as sporty as I'd prefer, but my son doesn't care. It surely beats anything you can buy at Walmart or Target.

Hey, if it works for him who cares what it looks like?

For what it's worth it took me a while before I moved to a proper two-wheel bike. Before then I had training wheels, which meant a fun mechanical engineering problem for my father trying to mount those onto a 26" mountain bike.

Eventually though, they came off and I was riding normally. I now ride ~100km/week.
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Old 04-01-15, 09:12 AM   #6
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Great to see someone else on here who can relate to the trials and challenges (as well as the joys) of raising a kid with autism. My son had the balance thing down pat because he had ridden behind me on a trailer cycle for years. But putting together all the skills such as balance, focus, steering, pedaling... once he did that he was able to ride. I think the joy of riding a bike caused him to focus and motivated him to do it.
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Very nice. Thanks. My 10 year old son has autism, so I'll look into it for him.
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Old 04-02-15, 02:08 PM   #7
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Very cool! You have done a great thing for your son.

In Colorado where I live we have a very active Special Olympics cycling-racing program. My daughter, who has Down syndrome, has been racing for five years now on a two wheeler. A number of the athletes in the program have autism. They ride everything from cruisers to recumbent trikes, hybrids, mountain bikes, tandems and drop bar road bikes, depending on age, balance, etc. One thing is for sure-the time on the bike has great collateral benefits for general fitness and confidence.


I think this is exactly the right place to post on technologies that extend the joys of cycling to as many folks as want to ride.
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