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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 12-02-09, 09:50 PM   #1
no1mad
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Not your typical bike recommendation

For a person who is:

-A Clyde, but not (yet, and hopefully never) obese.
-Has poor vision. Glaucoma, next to no visual field in right eye, but has corrected 20/30 in the left eye. Also poor depth perception, and virtually no night vision. Been declared legally blind.

Thoughts?
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Old 12-02-09, 10:07 PM   #2
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I don't see any of those issues as requireing a special bike.
Or rather I don't see any of them as being correctable by a special bike.

The biggest problem is being legally blind. With cars for example, being blind would prevent you from obtaining a license. With bikes, there is no license issue, however there is your personal safety to consider, do you Really want to ride around being unable to see possible dangers?

You can consider a tricycle, which may get rid of simple balance issues (which may or may not be a problem, you said your eyes were bad, but many people have a sense of balance separate from their eyes) but by no means is that going to help the fact that you still can't see traffic.
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Old 12-02-09, 10:08 PM   #3
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Thought? Well,. I have 20/70, 20/200 (20/20, 20/100) and tip the scales at over 220 pounds and I have not now, nor ever needed a "special" vehicle of any kind to get me from point A to point B. I have had to wrap my mind somehow around the fact that I can never be a helicopter pilot (which is kinda worse than it seems since that was my dream right up until I turned 18 and found out I didn't qualify) bit other than that...... You got me on the night vision thing though. I don't think that you should probably operate ANY vehicle at night if that's the case. As far as a seeing-eye bike goes, i should think that if you can manage a driving a car then any bike that can bear your weight should do. Mountain Bikes tend to be built a little more robust but that is a pretty big generalization these days, but it give you a place to start.
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Old 12-02-09, 10:18 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by no1mad View Post
For a person who is:

-A Clyde, but not (yet, and hopefully never) obese.
-Has poor vision. Glaucoma, next to no visual field in right eye, but has corrected 20/30 in the left eye. Also poor depth perception, and virtually no night vision. Been declared legally blind.

Thoughts?
20/30 in one eye should be plenty to cycle safely, at least away from traffic. I went through a period a couple of summers ago where I wasn't anywhere near that (result of a neuro condition that's since responded to treatment), and I rode often. I live in a suburban/rural area where it's easy to avoid cars, which helped. With one eye working, depth perception is lost, but I learned to compensate for it fairly quickly. I had (and have) far more trouble parallel parking than I do on the bike, and I used to be good at that. Night vision is easy: Don't ride at night. There's really not much you can do about that.
As for a bike, I agree there's no need for a special one, but I'd recommend something with room for big tires (at least 700x35 or 26x1.5), which you could run at, say, 65 psi for a cushier ride, shock absorption if you hit a pothole or something you don't see coming, and for more stability on rough pavement.
FWIW, I was nervous then I first got on the bike after my vision deteriorated, and did it only because walking was SO tedious. It really didn't take long to get used to it.
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Old 12-02-09, 10:45 PM   #5
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I like how y'all thought I was talking about myself. But it's the truth, I was.

I still drive, but limit it to daylight/fair weather/in-town trips. I have a Kona Smoke with 26 x 1.5 tires already. It's just that by the time I stretch out to get comfortable, my line of sight is more towards the ground than I'd like it. The Dr. has no problem with me riding a bike, so long as I'm not using drop bars. Wife was there when he said that, which really put a damper on potential bike selection.

I'm just glad nobody has suggested a comfort bike.
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Old 12-02-09, 10:59 PM   #6
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RANS crank-forward?
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Old 12-03-09, 08:29 AM   #7
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Large mirrors on both bar-ends.
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Old 12-03-09, 01:13 PM   #8
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by the time I stretch out to get comfortable, my line of sight is more towards the ground than I'd like it. The Dr. has no problem with me riding a bike, so long as I'm not using drop bars. Wife was there when he said that, which really put a damper on potential bike selection. I'm just glad nobody has suggested a comfort bike.
I should have mentioned this earlier--my problem (myasthenia gravis; don't know why I'm beating around the bush) included weakness in the back of my neck, so I couldn't lift my head far enough to see comfortably with drops. My Atlantis has a quill stem, so I was able to raise the bars level with the saddle in about 8 seconds. Made a huge difference. I also have an old Trek I converted to singlespeed years ago, and i replaced the drops on that with Rivendell's Albatross bars (any old three-speed type bar would work). Both work fine, and there's surprisingly little effect on speed. Here's a link to Riv's bar section, and some tall stems if you still use quills: http://www.rivbike.com/products/list...product=16-122
Velo Orange also has a selection: http://velo-orange.com/haandst.html
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Old 09-17-11, 07:58 AM   #9
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Large mirrors on both bar-ends.
This, definitely. I highly recommend mirrors, especially with a limited field of view in one eye.
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Old 09-17-11, 09:27 AM   #10
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Actually, mirrors are going to be useful on a case by case basis. I used to have one mounted on my left bar end, but found that I spent entirely too much time studying that than what was in front of me.

At my SSD determination screening, the tech running the visual field equipment made a comment to my wife that I didn't have tunnel vision, but 'laser vision'*. In other words, the central visual field is the strongest, and it gets exponentially worse the further out. Which means I have to actually look (not a quick glance) at the mirror, which increases the risk of running into or over something that I should avoid.

*FWIW, though the screening validated my Doc's findings, my claim was denied due to the fact that I was (and still am) employed.
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Old 09-17-11, 06:52 PM   #11
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RANS crank-forward?
Or a recumbent . . .
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Old 09-17-11, 06:56 PM   #12
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RANS crank-forward?
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Or a recumbent . . .
I'd really like the opportunity to give either option a try, but they don't lend themselves to my current multi-modal commute. Nor in my budget .
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