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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 05-10-06, 04:16 PM   #1
powerhouse
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How Many Of You Have A Disability?

Disabilities can seriously affect who people are and what they do in life. Even in this day and age, society is long on what s/he is 'unable' to do and short on means and alternatives of compensating for it.

I am a cyclist with three disabilities: I'm legally bind (20/400 acuity), epileptic, and have glaucoma. None of these are badges of honor. However, I've been able to compensate for them fairly well. To address my legal blindness, I wear a special pair of eyeglasses with a small telescope so that I'm able to see traffic, road signs, etc. while riding. This feature earned me the nickname of "Telescope". Medical science has been fortunate enough so that I can keep epileptic seizures at bay (most of the time). As for the glaucoma, I'm able to cope by taking special eyedrops. Due to my eyesight disabilities, Doctors had once recommended that I not take up bicycling. After doing so anyway and successfully completing many long distance bicycling adventures, they now support me in it. I earned my current nickname of Powerhouse from having the ability to ride very fast when I want to and, on long rides, from having the energy to go the distance while leaving other cyclists behind. This is quite something despite having to deal with the disabilities I live with.

I could go on about how my disabilities have affected me in other areas of life (jobs that I am unable to do, activities that aren't possible, etc.) but will keep it to bicycling since that is what this chatroom site is for. You may choose the extent of how much you wish to discuss.

So: How many of you have a disability? What alternatives do you use or how do you compensate?

Last edited by powerhouse; 05-19-11 at 05:53 AM.
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Old 05-10-06, 04:22 PM   #2
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Holy ****, dude! You got big balls. I wouldn't ride if I had a papercut!

Thanks for sharing your story with us.
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Old 05-10-06, 04:23 PM   #3
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powerhouse, you fricken rock.


I have flat feet. And a mild case of scoliosis. But those don't count. Keep on kicking arse, powerhouse
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Old 05-10-06, 06:11 PM   #4
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All I've got is ADD. Being someone who would rather be dead than blind, I admire your efforts.
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Old 05-10-06, 06:41 PM   #5
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Does carpal tunnel count? From too much *fap fap fap...* I mean, computer use. I wouldn't say it bothers me normally but during intense riding (like in a race or something), my right hand will go numb within about 10 min, which sucks. I haven't had the time, money, or guts to do the surgery yet.

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Old 05-10-06, 06:55 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michigander
All I've got is ADD. Being someone who would rather be dead than blind, I admire your efforts.
Yes, Michigander, ADD definitely counts. I have a cousin with ADD. It takes a lot for him to compensate in his daily life.

Last edited by powerhouse; 09-26-11 at 09:25 AM.
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Old 05-10-06, 07:12 PM   #7
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I'm afraid to get the tests, just because I don't want anyone giving me special treatment over it.

I'm probably dyslexic though....way too many "glitches" when reading to be normal.
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Old 05-10-06, 07:24 PM   #8
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I have CP / fairly mild but it effects gross motor skills so I have cruddy balance and hypertoned muscles so my musles are weak and tend to pull easily, as a result of poor ineutero forces on the joints my hips are mishappen. I've had one repleced last June and if you check my other posts you will see that I'm quite the bike addict now. I'll never be quick and it's ironic that I love a sport that is so leg centric when that's my weakest area but it's something I've dealt with my whole life and so it's just what I was given. I know I am blessed and a lot better off than a lot of people. My body probably won't last as well as the average but I'm ging to use it for all I can.

To be honest I don't think about it much. When I walk past a mirror and see my limp I guess I do and before I was married or dating in college it was a deal becasue at younger ages people are more apperence minded etc but if I did think about it most of the time I am actually greatful because I appreciate things more, I'm more empathetic and tuned into peoples emotions and non verbals, I'm probably smarter because I wasn't a jock. I know there are people who assume things about me and I know there are jobs I haven't gotten etc. However, I have impacted a lot of lives through teaching and gotten a lot back. I would love for discrimination to stop. It probably never will but we can try. The thing is, I don't expect people who never encounter adversity to fight against discrimination because they have never faced it to a serious degree. I get most frustrated with people that have had struggles but only fight for/identify with one group and discriminate agaist others, be it race or whatever because they should know better in a way and until all of the people that should no better fight ignorance in general very little progress is likely for anyone.

To answer the original ? I lay my bike down to get my leg over it. I go slower than I would like and I fall more than I would like. The hardest thing is not pushing too hard because I have known pain all my life so it's hard to know if I am just having fatigue/normal pain or "you are ripping your muscles and tendons apart pain. Still at 33 I now am doing things I always wanted to do. I have been in bad hip pain since 1987 and now it's a lot better (not gone but great) I have done a metric century with my new hip/ working toward a imperial century and beyond. In a way I know people now think I'm crazy but I don't care. I'm overweight but at least I ride. The fat lazy people who make fun of people but live on the couch can say what they will. When I get done with a long ride and the endorphins kick in and everything is crisp and I have an involuntary smile and my mind is quiet for the first time all week I have what I need. If I fall everyday for three weeks but finish the rides, that is what matters. If I haven't fallen in 300 miles that's even better. Upgraded back wheel for my ??year trek 7300 with no suspension because I fall so much :$150 Feeling good for the day and knowing you can eat mexican food for dinner guilt free after a long ride: priceless!
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Old 05-10-06, 08:26 PM   #9
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Well, I've never been diagnosed or anything but after spending two years working hands on as a teacher for special needs children - I'm pretty sure I've got ADD and OCD. It's not out of hand or anything so that's probably why I don't feel compelled to get meds for either of them. I wash my hands constantly, have a bunch of random routines that I need to do or else I feel completely off, can't listen to lectures because no matter how hard I try or how interesting it is I can't focus for more than maybe 10 minutes on someone talking, my mind works a mile a minute...
So that's me. Doesn't affect my life too much but it makes my friends smile because I guess it adds to my quirky personality.
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Old 05-12-06, 05:43 AM   #10
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Old 05-12-06, 06:29 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RVAbatman
Well, I've never been diagnosed or anything but after spending two years working hands on as a teacher for special needs children - I'm pretty sure I've got ADD and OCD. It's not out of hand or anything so that's probably why I don't feel compelled to get meds for either of them. I wash my hands constantly, have a bunch of random routines that I need to do or else I feel completely off, can't listen to lectures because no matter how hard I try or how interesting it is I can't focus for more than maybe 10 minutes on someone talking, my mind works a mile a minute...
So that's me. Doesn't affect my life too much but it makes my friends smile because I guess it adds to my quirky personality.
My daughter has OCD.. or had, there is no sign of it since she has ben on meds, different from you though, Im no doctor but what you describe was her signs too.. the difference is that her "routine" or things she had to do in order to feel like everything was going to be OK was interupting from going to her normal activities... the doc said a lot of people suffer from OCD, it's if it starts getting in the way of your everyday things you have to do that it needs to be treated. It can get pretty bad, I know that she was for 2 years, totally stopping me as well from going on to my normal life, I had to be on her side 24/7.. Im glad we fought this thing
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Old 05-12-06, 07:17 AM   #12
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Yeh I have a few probs also but are MINOR compared to others so I delete them from my life and just mosey on thru life

Guy down the street was beaten in HS now has epelipsy but is the most fanstatic skilled craftsman with wood, I envy him his skills

Young kid early 30s I see at local B&N store ;in a wheelchair nothing from waist down, meet him one day as I watched him exit car, lifted chair over his head and put it on the ground then shifted self on to it,anything to envy?, yeh his spirit, and he envies me that I can ride a bike

When I have a down day I think about these guys, how VERY lucky I am
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Old 05-12-06, 07:31 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slvoid
Does carpal tunnel count? From too much *fap fap fap...* I mean, computer use. I wouldn't say it bothers me normally but during intense riding (like in a race or something), my right hand will go numb within about 10 min, which sucks. I haven't had the time, money, or guts to do the surgery yet.
I had pretty bad carpal tunnel for a while. Mine turned out to be mainly caused by arthritis compressing the tunnel.
After taking the right arthritis meds for a while it is gone most of the time. The computer does make it a little worse, but staying off helps a lot. The gel pads under the bar tape and good gel gloves help a lot too. Not 100% but a lot. When you're not racing try less tire pressure, if you can stand a little more rolling resistance. Good luck, I know it's different for everyone.

Did you try wearing a wrist brace when on the computer? It could help a lot, and you can just take it off when you're not on the computer.
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Old 05-12-06, 07:34 AM   #14
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Dyslexia here, too. Though it's very, very mild. Was tested when I was a young pup. Affects reading comprehension a little, which sucks, because engineering texts aren't always written too clearly. Biggest problem is verbal communication, though. Sometimes my brain will just short out for a second and I don't understand what someone's telling me. I just say I'm hard of hearing. Same thing happens when I speak, sometimes. All that comes out is a disjoined flow of words. I just say I'm hard of speaking too, and get a laugh.

All in all, I got off light in the disability department.
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Old 05-12-06, 08:46 AM   #15
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I have Meniere's Disease which is a disease of the inner ear. It generally involve balance issues, can involve spinning vertigo as well as some days of feeling like you are sea sick. I don't think of it as a disability, more of a condition I guess.

Some days my balance isn't good enough to be on the bike. When that happens, I just don't ride, or substitute a ride on the trainer. Most days, I don't notice much in the way of any issues as long as I do the things that help me to avoid making my situation any worse.

On the bad days I just power through it if I can, lay low if I can't, and try to remember that not every day is going to be a bad day. On the good days I enjoy them like I'll never get another one.

I guess that's probably why I don't think of it as a disability. It has given me a daily reminder to never waste a good day.

Yeah, in the grand scheme of things, I feel pretty fortunate as well. There's a whole world of folks who have it a lot worse.
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Old 05-12-06, 08:53 AM   #16
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HEARING DISABILITY. Considered legally deaf, I wear hearing aidsin both ears. Service Connected
the upside-I can cut them off when I want and not have to listen to people I don't want too
Also read lips real good, I watch.
The down side, never seem to get the correct volume, everything is always magnafied especially when riding in traffic or cars around me or beside. it is hard to discern where they are without tuning to look.

Right Leg/knee- does not always want to move in the intended direction. Service Connected
feet- nerve damage Do not always feel everything

Cold intolerance- problem with temperatures below 55. I have to casrry a hypo kit, less miles in the winter

Got some more but that is enough


SMILE EVERYDAY IS A GREAT DAY.
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Old 05-12-06, 10:52 AM   #17
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Compression fracture L1 (and consequent deterioration)
Bad wrists (capal tunnel)
Bad shoulders (degenerative ball sockets)
Bad knees (random tendon tears)
Tendonitis both ankles
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Old 05-12-06, 11:02 AM   #18
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my biggest disability is that i am a moron..
my second biggest is having a bad back..
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Old 05-12-06, 11:20 AM   #19
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Epileptic, a bad back and as from two days ago. A complete rupture of the achilles tendon.
Well OK that one is stitched back on now, but it'll be a disability for the next 3 month.

Ooops. Nearly forgot. Asthma! I think that should be about it, or does psycick disabilities count too?

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Old 05-12-06, 11:34 AM   #20
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Epileptic, a bad back and as from two days ago. A complete rupture of the achilles tendon.
Well OK that one is stitched back on now, but it'll be a disability for the next 3 month.
whoa. Haven't seen you in a long time. Sorry to hear about the achilles tendon
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Old 05-12-06, 12:30 PM   #21
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whoa. Haven't seen you in a long time. Sorry to hear about the achilles tendon
Tnx TexasGuy. Guess who's gonna party trough this summer?
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Old 05-12-06, 12:44 PM   #22
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Tnx TexasGuy. Guess who's gonna party trough this summer?
you?
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Old 05-12-06, 02:50 PM   #23
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Not really disabilities...just annoyances.

Lower Spondylothesis (vertebrae sliding towards my chest)

Carpal Tunnel

Scoliosis

Nothing compared to what people have posted here.
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Old 05-12-06, 03:08 PM   #24
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Otosclerosis. I've had both my inner ear stapes bone replaced with a prosthetic bone to aid my hearing. They're working pretty well.
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Old 05-12-06, 03:10 PM   #25
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I think just about anything is only a handicap if you let it be. Some people may see them as handicaps...I just see them as challenges. Had a stroke a year ago January...thought I was a dead man. Was in the hospital and could not walk for several weeks. Entire right side of my body is still about 50% numb. Not any different a person than I used to be...just some fine motor skills that I have trouble with(writing, etc). Hell I'm just HAPPY to be alive! Riding my bike more now than I ever did before the stupid stroke. Gotta make up for lost time!!

Funny story..... A couple of weeks after I went back to work, I was selling something to a guy(don't even remember what it was now) and he was going to meet me here at work to pick it up. I walked out toward my car at our agreed on meeting time. He wasn't there yet so I started to walk back inside. About halfway across the parking lot I saw the guy coming so I turned around and headed back toward the car. Later that day, my boss told me a lady here at work had stopped him in the hall and asked if I was alright because she had seen me wandering around aimlessly in the parking lot. It sorta pissed me off, but whatta ya gonna do other than laugh about it. I guess the stupid biotch thought I had brain damage or something ...I dunno. We still laugh about it sometimes.
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