So I've got a question about MS and bicycles. A bit of a background first.
My mom is retiring from her job of 20 years in May. Over the past year, she has expressed a great desire to get a bicycle and start riding around after she saw how much fun I had rediscovering bicycles last year.
She keeps reminiscing about how her and my dad would bike around Hawaii when they lived there 40 years ago, and I'm thinking I (and my siblings pitching in) should buy her a bicycle as a retirement gift.
Now here's the issue; my dad has MS. It's not something we talk about openly, in fact I only found out myself a few years back despite him having it for longer than my entire life. He has the best kind, relapsing-remitting, and hasn't had an attack in quite some time, however my mom has hinted that his physical fitness is declining. I would like for them to be able to bicycle around together now that they'll both be retired, so I would like to get them a pair of bicycles, but I am uncertain of how my dads balance would be on a traditional bicycle.
So does anyone have any experience in what kind of special needs need to be met for someone with MS? I read that Sheldon Brown had to go with a tricycle recumbent at one point because he could no longer balance on a bicycle, so I am thinking of getting them tadpole recumbents. Am I on the right path?
This is such a tough position to be in because my family is very private about issues like this and I am not comfortable asking what his physical state is in. He doesn't seem like he has balance problems whenever I visit, but again he's hidden his MS from me and my siblings for nearly 30 years so it's not like I'm very good at deducing these things anyway. This is compounded by the fact that it would be a gift and I'd hate to give away what I'm getting them by inadvertently asking the wrong questions.
Any advice would be marvelous, thanks in advance!