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Old 02-24-09, 08:25 PM   #1
mlau
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Bike for a person with Parkinson's?

I have a really good 76 year old friend who's been mentoring me.

In the past three years since he's had Parkinson's he's been more active than many people half his age: cycling across Austria/Germany, playint 3+ hours of tennis, and 6+ hours in his garden.

However, in the past two weeks, he's gotten worse. He slipped trying to pick up something off his bible case off the ground. Additionally, his short-term memory seems to be slipping and his gait is substantially less stable.

My mom (an occupation therapist) suggested cycling.

Any recommendations regarding a good solution?

I'll be trying to get in touch with my friend's primary care provider, and talk him into allowing the cycling. I know that one of my friend's biggest regrets is his lack of independence when his doc told him that he couldn't ride his bikefriday pocket rocket anymore.

The main criteria is that it can handle an impaired sense of balance, and that it can do 50+ miles a day.
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Old 02-24-09, 08:33 PM   #2
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I will almost surely have to be some form of trike. I have seen some people riding in places like the Cape Cod canal trail (wide paved flat) on trikes who would otherwise not be on bicycles at all.
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Old 02-24-09, 10:25 PM   #3
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I know very little about trikes, but this is the brand I've seen recommended - Catrike...

http://www.catrike.com/
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Old 02-24-09, 10:44 PM   #4
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Lots of great trikes out there - not the clunky things you might imagine, but superb pieces of machinery.

My son rides a Worksman 3 wheeler, but 5 miles on his is about all most folks would want to do. Not like a "real" trike.
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Old 02-24-09, 10:49 PM   #5
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http://www.zzipper.com/Gallery/JimWetherell/index.htm

I have been riding with Jim Wetherell for about 6 month now and he hasn’t let Parkensons stop him. Tell anyone you know that might consider cycling about this site and I can assure you they will have new hope.
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Old 02-25-09, 12:17 AM   #6
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Look at Sun EZ-3 trikes. They're delta trikes (1 front wheel, 2 rears)...much higher seating position than most tadpole trikes (like the Catrike), and much easier to get on and off...but not nearly as high as the industrial-style trikes, and much more stable.

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Old 02-25-09, 08:15 AM   #7
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If your friend is in stage 2 or higher of the disease balance will indeed be a concern. A trike is probably the safest bet in this case. Has your friend experienced any bradykinesia? If so, you may be looking at your friend being the stoker on a tandem trike as the only solution that will be safe. Here's a link to one by a builder in my area that is starting to be distributed nationwide. http://www.sandsmachine.com/a_bi_t11.htm
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Old 02-25-09, 12:24 PM   #8
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+1

Also look at Greedspeed trikes.
http://www.bicycleman.com/recumbents...greenspeed.htm
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Old 02-25-09, 02:30 PM   #9
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Also look at Greedspeed trikes. ...
The Tadpole would be my choice. Sheldon Brown began using one when his MS advanced to the point of disrupting his balance.
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Old 02-25-09, 02:36 PM   #10
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I would have to recommend a Tandem. Two reasond for it and providing the Pilot is strong enough- He would be able to Balance the bike easy enough- The other reason is that unless you have an argument- your friend would always have someone with him if Medical problems arose on a ride.

And if money is not a concern- Then a recumbent Tandem Trike would be absolutely ideal. I have ridden one of these with a handicapped rider- and they are fantastic.
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Old 02-25-09, 02:39 PM   #11
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Davis Phinney is, of course, the key link between cycling and Parkinson's, and he seems to be benefitting from deep brain stimulation.

http://blog.getbetterhealth.com/davi...ase/2008.10.12
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Old 02-25-09, 02:40 PM   #12
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The Tadpole would be my choice. Sheldon Brown began using one when his MS advanced to the point of disrupting his balance.

This is from Don Walker Bikes. When I can no longer walk by myself I'm gonna' get me one of these to ride. Below is a link to the website. I'm not saying it would be cheap, but they are fine looking machines. Look under the link for TRYKE on the website.

http://www.donwalkercycles.com/Welcome.html
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Old 02-25-09, 04:10 PM   #13
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Thanks for all the recommendations.

I think that my friend has started to have bradykinesia, but he still smokes his granddaughters on the tennis court.

Regarding the tandems--he lives alone, and doesn't have anyone to ride with him. I can only visit him on Saturdays, since I'm at school at SF.
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Old 02-25-09, 07:09 PM   #14
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Thanks for all the recommendations.

I think that my friend has started to have bradykinesia, but he still smokes his granddaughters on the tennis court.

Regarding the tandems--he lives alone, and doesn't have anyone to ride with him. I can only visit him on Saturdays, since I'm at school at SF.
If he has really started to experience bradykinesia cycling is probably not the best option. Should he experience the typical difficulty in starting or continuing motion or an inability to adjust his body position, he's at a very high risk of crashing. The unfortunate thing about this is that you can't really predict when bradykinesia will manifest itself and when it won't.
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Old 02-26-09, 10:27 PM   #15
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Yes I should think a trike is the go.

Chap out there "Parky" who has the disease. Riding a trike to raise awareness of Parkinsons. Done something like 50000 miles on a trike.

His inspirational web site.

http://www.inevergiveup.org/

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Old 02-26-09, 10:39 PM   #16
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Yes I should think a trike is the go.

Chap out there "Parky" who has the disease. Riding a trike to raise awareness of Parkinsons. Done something like 50000 miles on a trike.

His inspirational web site.

http://www.inevergiveup.org/

John Lewis
Yes I posted a site for him as well. Jim is a heck of a nice guy and easily puts in 30 miles a day just riding with us. On a good day I have seen him clock more than 16MPH. He even does hills.
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