Planning and prepping for touring
I am looking at going on a tour this spring or early summer. My son and wife are coming with, my son to ride and my wife will be support. I am planning on doing an "Inn to Inn" test run 4 day/3 night over my sons late winter break from school if the weather will cooperate. I have the added advantage of being able to travel South if the need arises. The first run will be something along the lines of 300 miles. The "tour" that I want to do in the spring will be between 6-700 over a full two weeks.
I have been reading around on various sites, as well as the touring section here, blogs and whatnot in order to get insight on what I may need. It seems as if eliminating the camping aspect (at least for these first runs) and having support will cover most anything that would arise on the road. Since I won't be carrying more than normal I shouldn't even have to change equipment as far as bikes are concerned.
I am curious to know if any other amputees have done any touring? Were there any special concerns or issues that came up related to the amputation that should be considered?
If anyone knows of any blog of amps touring please feel free to link them back.
I've done a fair bit of touring and bikepack a lot.
Best advice is to take a step back, forget about the rest of it and focus for awhile about the interface between your residual limb and the prosthetic. That's the only area you are likely to have problems specific to an amputee.
but you know those skin issues we always have? The things that cause them are amplified on a tour. Focus on hygiene and lubrication.
One thing I always do is take a good sized bottle of alcohol...I do a lot of camping and can usually wash my leg and liner in a creek, but in the off chance I can't, douse everything in alcohol.
Second thing, when in doubt, grease it down. Any hot spots, get it good and clean, then grease it. The biggest thing to remember is that your prosthetic should be a second thought. You put much less stress on it on a bike compared to walking. Focus on keeping the residual limb healthy, and keeping both it and the liner surgical room clean.
I have yet to find a lubricant that helps well for my situation. The skin the back of my leg is tissue paper thin in one spot and the use of various balms, petroleum free lubes, etc. has led to more issues than relief. I recently was given some socks for in between the liner and skin made by Swiftwick to try, and get back to them about. I have yet to use them as winter time is not my problem sweat time. They are designed for running, specifically, but didn't see why they wouldn't work for me. The idea behind them is that they soak up the sweat and move it up the sock hydraulically to dry on the portion of it that sticks out the top of the liner/prosthesis.
Thanks for taking the time to give me some input.
I've been using a coolmax sock inside my liner for a few years. A prosthetist told me about the smithwick, and I need to measure to see if they have a size that works for me.
On the bike, I carry powder and a dry sock and some paper towels. I will likely need to change halfway through the day's mileage (I have been limited to trips that average 30-45 miles per day).
In the inn or hotel, I really need to have a shower chair or a bathtub. The smaller the town and the older the hotel, the fewer features you are going to find in the handicapped room's bathroom. I have grabbed a plastic outdoor chair and stuck it into the shower before. I bring some sort of mobility gadget with me - either crutches or a knee walker. I am susceptible to getting a rash under my liner and sleeve from heat and sweat, and I have to spend some hours with the prosthesis off.
If rain happens, you need to either protect the foot shell from getting water in it, or really dry that out.
I've had a left below knee amputation for 40+ years. I did not learn that hopping was really bad for you until I had been an amputee for 30 years. I have significant arthritis in the right knee now. My parents were shocked when I told them about the arthritis - nobody had mentioned that during my rehab eons ago.
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