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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 09-17-11, 06:51 PM   #1
Tom Stormcrowe
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Introduce yourself!

Hi, I'm Tom, and I run this crazy place called Bike Forums. Let's all get to know each other in here. Camaraderie is a big component to building a vibrant, healthy community, so let's get it started.
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Old 09-17-11, 07:28 PM   #2
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Hi. My name is Grayson Peddie and I have a visual impairment. I am blind in my left eye and have good vision in my right eye. Having good vision does not mean I can see traffic lights very well if it's not so cloudy or if it's not nighttime.

I have a tricycle and it looks like this (I'll have more very soon as I have it in my Optimus V's SD card):



Update:

Okay, these are my The two images are older than the first one that I took due to the tail light placement. Don't pay attention to the dynamo generator. I didn't start a thread asking for help and I didn't know why. The manual says to connect the wires to the terminals but I couldn't tell which one is the positive and the negative. I bought this before the reviews show up. Oh, well...




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Old 09-17-11, 08:19 PM   #3
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I'm Jeff, I recently was injured while commuting to work, and had to have my left leg reconstructed. I'm now in physical rehab, but it will be around a year before I will be able to easily ride a 2-wheeled bike again. I'm very interested in adaptive bikes, as I'm a tinkerer and inventor at heart. I will definitely be learning everything I can about the subject. Welcome!
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Old 09-17-11, 08:38 PM   #4
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Hi, my name is in my posting handle. I have a valgus deformity in both legs and minor scoliosis. I don't think of myself as 'disabled', since I do what I want to, but a lot of cyclists think I am, so I took up the label. I like to bike tour. And post to Bike Forums too. See you around!
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Old 09-17-11, 08:53 PM   #5
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I'm Pat. I started running in high school(1976) until mid-2004 when I was hit while commuting to work(by bike). The left head of my left hamstring was torn away along with the sciatic nerve and the femur was broken. 2 1/2weeks in an induced coma, 2 months in the hospital and 89 units of blood later, I went home with a walker and wheelchair. Took 18 months to start walking again and the femur didn't heal for almost two years due to being non-weight bearing. Finally put the wheelchair/walker away for good 27 months after the accident. I can walk short distances with a cane but cannot ride a DF due to lack of strength, control and limited range of motion in the knee and hip. Bought a handcycle in 2005 and I currently ride 100-140 miles a week and have completed 13 metric and one full century.


First metric, 14 months after accident.
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Old 09-17-11, 09:06 PM   #6
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Okay, I guess I'll play...

My name is Michael and have been living with glaucoma since before I was old enough to drive- and I start my 4th decade of life towards the end of next month. Was declared legally blind at the end of '08, forced to give up driving (should've seen the Doc's face when he found out I was driving to earn a paycheck ), and started bike commuting shortly thereafter- with the Doc's permission and blessing.

I can make out lights and outlines of shapes with the right eye and not much else. The left one isn't much better. Often told family, friends, and co-workers to get a idea of what my vision is like to take a lid off of a salt shaker, line it with wax paper, poke a few random holes in the paper, then put that up to their eye. It's crude, but effective.

And I've got minor scoliosis as well, more than likely the result from one too many auto accidents over the years...

**Update: Some time within the past year- last quarter of '13 or first of '14- the Doc said it was no longer advisable to "ride in traffic". Since that time, I've ridden the bike only a handful of times . I've finally come to the conclusion that I should not interpret his words as "give it up" but "ride smarter".
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Old 09-17-11, 10:03 PM   #7
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My name is Martin and have been an LBKA since '07. I gained a lot of weight, my heartrate and respiration went way up, and I needed something I could do that was low impact. I had enjoyed cycling a great deal throughout my life and decided that it was going to be the vehicle to my better health. With the substantial injuries I had sustained in the accident leading to my becoming a BKA, I needed something that was going to be low impact.
I got my old MTB off the hook in the garage and checked to see if I even could ride. I took off on the streets right in front of my house, and just rode back and forth. It took me several months of riding just to be comfortable on the bike, not wobbly, sure of myself. I started going to the park and riding around the path there, really slow at first just getting used to riding. I talked with my prosthesist right away and started working on what needed to be done for my device to wear comfortably on the bike, a process that is ongoing even to this day. I have had some issues with fit as related to pedaling, and it has caused me significant problems at times. I am dedicated to pushing through these obstacles.

Since that time, I have swapped to road bikes, I ride clipless with MTB pedals. The eggbeaters offer a side up all four ways and give me no trouble clipping in. I have personally found that turning my heel inward works best for unclipping, but I can only do so while stopped. It is an ongoing issue and hopefully will find, in this forum, more information from others on how they have overcome these issues to go on and ride.
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Old 09-18-11, 01:17 AM   #8
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Hi, I'm Peter. I have many issues, the greatest being 'OA'. My left knee, and my right hip (so far) have been replaced. My right shoulder - bone spurs and cut tendon repaired. My hip was replaced 06-2011, and I am still recovering. I have sold my upright bike, and now ride a 'tadpole' recumbent trike (two wheels in front, one wheel in back).

Not really sure (when compared to others) that I fit the criteria here, but as more surgeries are needed, and more new issues come up, riding has become more of a challenge to me.
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Old 09-18-11, 01:02 PM   #9
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Peter, I would think you rightly belong here after going through what you have and continue to be dedicated to cycling. My hat off to you, sir.
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Old 09-18-11, 01:30 PM   #10
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My name is Brent and am a below the knee amputee as of Sept 2010. Oct 2010 i received my first prosthesis and rode 100 ft the first day. Worked through the winter and started riding with a local club May of 2011 and am now up to 100-150 mi/wk.
Completed benefit ride yesterday of 50 miles with average of 18 mph.
I ride 2009 Trek 2.1 and 1982 Motobecane. I use Mtn bike shoes with spd pedals as mtn bike shoes are safer to walk in especially when you can feel one foot.
I started riding for rehab only but have now developed an enjoyment for the sport due largely to the support of riding club. I will always remember the day one on the riders, a rehab Dr., literally pushed me up my first killer hill.
It's not all about me but what we can do for others as this this good friend demonstrated that morning. By the way he was on a fixie.
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Old 09-18-11, 03:16 PM   #11
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I'm known as "Buzz" in Bike Forums but my name is Ken. I currently have no disabilities but will probably read a lot of these threads. As a former bike mechanic and someone who has worked closely with and know frame builders who've done fantastic builds of rigs and specialty bikes I see great potential in the creativity and innovation in Adaptive Cycling.

My guess is this will be one of the more creative and inspiring forums in BF. I probably won't have a lot to say in here but I'm looking forward to reading and learning some great new stuff. Thanks for this forum!!
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Old 09-18-11, 04:45 PM   #12
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I'm Doug. I have Infantile Nystagmus Syndrome(afaik), and while it's mild in amplitude, it still makes things... interesting for me. I don't have driver's licence because I have a narrow field of vision that allows me to 1) see the road 2) see the gauges or 3) see a single mirror, Pick one. I'm fortunate enough to live is a small town where I can walk to the majority of places I need to go, and what isn't within walking or biking distance is a inexpensive cab ride(all but one cab co is currently charging $7/person/ride due to gas being near $6/gallon). The other challenge presented is a mild balance issue, so I CAN'T use the arm turn signals, so when I can afford them I'm gonna get a Bicygnals set, and I'll review it in this section.
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Old 09-18-11, 04:48 PM   #13
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My name is Martin and have been an LBKA since '07.
Umm - you stumped Google. Unless you mean "London Beekeepers Association" - I'm stuck. Sorry bout that??
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Old 09-18-11, 04:55 PM   #14
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Peter, I would think you rightly belong here after going through what you have and continue to be dedicated to cycling. My hat off to you, sir.
Don't take your hat off, your ears will get cold~!

See, that's the thing, compared to others, *I* am not handicapped, I don't *look* handicapped. But I now feel handicapped. Too many different issues, too close together - but then I'm told I am whining - heh - which doesn't actually help. Anyhow, I hope I can contribute in this new (wonderful) sub-forum.
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Old 09-18-11, 05:00 PM   #15
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Umm - you stumped Google. Unless you mean "London Beekeepers Association" - I'm stuck. Sorry bout that??
Left Below Knee Amputee
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Old 09-18-11, 05:04 PM   #16
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I'm Cyclehen, a physical therapist who works with children and young adults with developmental and acquired disabilities in a school system setting. I'm an avid cyclist, and find myself often looking for solutions for my clients so they can enjoy the sport too. Will be eager to hear what people have to share about equipment that works for them. Am currently trying to help identify a tandem bike for a student of mine who has limited trunk balance and can pedal but not steer... seen some cool stuff on-line, but wow the prices are high. If anybody knows if a more supportive seat can be fitted onto a "Buddy Bike", I'd love to hear.
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Old 09-18-11, 05:18 PM   #17
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Left Below Knee Amputee
That was my 'guess', but I didn't want to guess - thank you. May I ask, what is your take on 'phantom pain'? I hope I am not rude, but I think/suppose a forum is not the place for tip-toeing?
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Old 09-18-11, 05:28 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by alaskanb3arcub View Post
I'm Doug. I have Infantile Nystagmus Syndrome(afaik), and while it's mild in amplitude, it still makes things... interesting for me. I don't have driver's licence because I have a narrow field of vision that allows me to 1) see the road 2) see the gauges or 3) see a single mirror, Pick one. I'm fortunate enough to live is a small town where I can walk to the majority of places I need to go, and what isn't within walking or biking distance is a inexpensive cab ride(all but one cab co is currently charging $7/person/ride due to gas being near $6/gallon). The other challenge presented is a mild balance issue, so I CAN'T use the arm turn signals, so when I can afford them I'm gonna get a Bicygnals set, and I'll review it in this section.
Different root cause, but with similar results.

Question- do you use a mirror while cycling? I've found that if I focus on the mirror (a Mtn Mirracycle), then I can no longer see whatever is in front of me.
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Old 09-18-11, 05:58 PM   #19
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I'm Doug. I have Infantile Nystagmus Syndrome(afaik), and while it's mild in amplitude, it still makes things... interesting for me. I don't have driver's licence because I have a narrow field of vision that allows me to 1) see the road 2) see the gauges or 3) see a single mirror, Pick one. I'm fortunate enough to live is a small town where I can walk to the majority of places I need to go, and what isn't within walking or biking distance is a inexpensive cab ride(all but one cab co is currently charging $7/person/ride due to gas being near $6/gallon). The other challenge presented is a mild balance issue, so I CAN'T use the arm turn signals, so when I can afford them I'm gonna get a Bicygnals set, and I'll review it in this section.
I have a balance problem too. I've been fortunate that I've been able to make my turning intentions clear by my position in the lane.
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Old 09-18-11, 06:07 PM   #20
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Don't take your hat off, your ears will get cold~!

See, that's the thing, compared to others, *I* am not handicapped, I don't *look* handicapped. But I now feel handicapped. Too many different issues, too close together - but then I'm told I am whining - heh - which doesn't actually help. Anyhow, I hope I can contribute in this new (wonderful) sub-forum.
Whining doesn't help, Peter. No one cares for a whiner. I stopped posting at the National Scoliosis Foundation message boards after a discussion with people who didn't think I was 'curved enough' to be posting there. Also, people wore their condition as a badge - some posters had their surgical history in their signature lines. I can't imagine living life thinking I'm a victim. I might look like a question mark, but I see myself as an exclamation point.

I'm frustrated I can't do things from time to time, but I don't think of myself as disabled/handicapped/whatever. How can I be? I do what I want to. I just sometimes do it a little differently than most folks.
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Old 09-18-11, 06:11 PM   #21
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That was my 'guess', but I didn't want to guess - thank you. May I ask, what is your take on 'phantom pain'? I hope I am not rude, but I think/suppose a forum is not the place for tip-toeing?
I think you have me confused with punkncat.

I don't think anyone seriously doesn't believe "phantom pain" exists. It ranges from annoying to terribly painful and is difficult to treat as the mechanism isn't fully understood.
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Old 09-18-11, 08:42 PM   #22
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Phantom pains are the worst aspect of being an amputee. I know a lot of people don't deal with it, but I do with terrible frequency. It is really lots of not fun.
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Old 09-18-11, 10:36 PM   #23
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Different root cause, but with similar results.

Question- do you use a mirror while cycling? I've found that if I focus on the mirror (a Mtn Mirracycle), then I can no longer see whatever is in front of me.
I don't know yet. I recently started assisting at my LBS and I hadn't really thought about it(my bike lives in my brother's spacious kitchen, not my apartment), but now that I'm plugged into what is available, I'm considering a mirror. I'm looking into handlebar mounted, glasses mounted, or helmet mounted. There is a helmet maker over in Ireland that had bike helmets with a built in rear view mirror, but the product apparently flopped over there an never made it to the US(they do make motor bike helmets with the system, though).
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Old 09-19-11, 12:15 PM   #24
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I think you have me confused with punkncat.

I don't think anyone seriously doesn't believe "phantom pain" exists. It ranges from annoying to terribly painful and is difficult to treat as the mechanism isn't fully understood.
Oh, I believe in it. I was being lazy by asking it while answering you - eep
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Old 09-19-11, 12:17 PM   #25
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Phantom pains are the worst aspect of being an amputee. I know a lot of people don't deal with it, but I do with terrible frequency. It is really lots of not fun.
I threw the question out meaning I want to understand it better. I've seen it (on a very small scale) with teeth that have been pulled out long ago. My main query is can it be treated with pain-killers? Being in Pain MGNT, one of the drugs they put me on is 'Cymbalta' - they've learned that it helps with long-term pain (I do not understand how) - is there anything that works for phantom pain?
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