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 12-30-15, 08:19 PM
  #101  
Siu Blue Wind
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Originally Posted by FootBikes View Post
Hi. I'm Doug.

I'm coming back to BF after being away because I've found a way to "cycle" again when I thought I was finished for good. But I have a problem.

This will probably be a long introduction, but it seems like the best way to introduce myself and my situation.

A series of medical problems -- couple of heart attacks, prostate issues, knee and hip problems (and couple others, but those are the main ones) just made it too hard to cycle for quite a while. Electric assistance would help with the stamina issues from the heart problems, but the saddle exacerbates the prostate problems. A recumbent would resolve the problem of making the prostate issue worse, but I've never felt comfortable riding a bent in traffic and, anyway, high-quality electric recumbents are big-time expensive.

With the recent craze over scooters of various kinds (kick and electric) and the weird (IMHO) infatuation with "Hoverboards" (that don't really hover at all), I was motivated to cruise the Web looking for things I might try that are more like real bikes. I ended up discovering "kickbikes" or "footbikes" which have apparently been popular in Europe for some time (one history I read says that the original was made in Finland in the early 90s). Footbikes have begun to make their way to North America and a few manufacturers have begun adding electric assistance. Looked like a great idea, so I bought a mid-priced one (they run from cheap and worth it to pretty darn expensive).

My first ride on the new electric footbike was great. It was easy to ride, moved plenty fast enough for my old self, standing gave me a bit of exercise and a great position to see and be seen. And, when I felt up to it, I could easily step off and walk with it for a little more exercise (and even use it a bit like a cane, for support).

The second ride was a different story. As I rode slowly, over a very shallow, low, gentle embankment at the edge of a plate covering some road work, a tube projecting below the frame of the footbike dug into the smooth asphalt, brought the device to a sudden stop, lifting the rear wheel a bit and tossing me off to the side (I was able to sort of step off and didn't fall all the way, since I was traveling so slowly). One of my knees collapsed (fortunately not the open that already doesn't work) and is still rather sore weeks later, but it wasn't a catastrophe.

When I got home and got the bike up on the bench and measured, I discovered that, because of several projections (tube ends, part of a centerstand) below the frame, the ground clearance is only about 2.5 inches. To me, on a 26" wheel footbike that can do 20 mph under electric power, this is just crazy. The manufacturer, the bike shop guy and the experienced users on the kick scooter forums all seem to think it's perfectly normal and that "lower is better" for these devices. I'm sure that's true when you're in a race on a perfectly smooth surface and powering the bike solely by kicking, or when you're toodling along through the park on your small-wheel scooter with plenty of time to watch for the slightest bump or irregularity, but it makes no sense at all, to me, for powered footbikes that are not going to be kick-powered much of the time (they're too heavy, anyway) and that need to operate on our ordinary rough roads and trails and sometimes surrounded by traffic.

So, now I'm trying to buy one of the few footbikes that seems to be designed for powered operation, one with a lot more ground clearance. I was arguing with the seller and manufacturer of the first one, but they just think that I'm the one who doesn't understand.

Sorry for the long, boring report, but that's my introductory story and I'd love to here from any other riders with disabilities who have any experience with these bike-like creatures.

~Doug
Umm.. aren't you associated with the company?
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Originally Posted by making View Post
Please dont outsmart the censor. That is a very expensive censor and every time one of you guys outsmart it it makes someone at the home office feel bad. We dont wanna do that. So dont cleverly disguise bad words.
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Old 12-31-15, 01:13 AM
  #102  
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Originally Posted by Siu Blue Wind View Post
Umm.. aren't you associated with the company?
Huh? What company and why would you ask that question?

First day back at BF and you've already managed to offend me and piss me off.

I'm sorry I was so hasty as to make a $20 contribution.

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Old 12-31-15, 01:03 PM
  #103  
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I would be proud to be associated with a successful idea. I didn't think that would offend you.
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Please dont outsmart the censor. That is a very expensive censor and every time one of you guys outsmart it it makes someone at the home office feel bad. We dont wanna do that. So dont cleverly disguise bad words.
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Old 12-31-15, 02:48 PM
  #104  
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Well plus your previous name was almost the same.. "footbikes".
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Please dont outsmart the censor. That is a very expensive censor and every time one of you guys outsmart it it makes someone at the home office feel bad. We dont wanna do that. So dont cleverly disguise bad words.
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Old 02-11-16, 07:22 AM
  #105  
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Hi I'm Mark. Been an above knee amputee since October 2012. Due to infections and other complications I didn't get a prosthesis until November 2014. In the late Summer of 2015 I found out it was possible to ride a bicycle again. I was so happy I cried. I knew I'd have to make againdjustments but it wasn't nearly as bad as I thought. Here's what I found out helps with riding a conventional bicycle with an above knee leg amputation and prosthesis:

Gearing: I first rode and dirt jumper for a little while. I like si gle speeds so I can focus on riding and not shifting. I found a 32/16 combo works perfectly. It's easy to pedal uphill but I can still get plenty of speed.

Crankset: Slightly shorter crank arms work great because you don't have to extend your prosthesis as high when the pedal is top dead center. Pedal extensions lengthen the q factor meaning the pedals sit further out from the bike. This is a huge bonus because my heel would always strike the crank arm and would either mess up my foot placement or knock my foot off the pedal. A velcro and cloth pedal strap for your false leg is a must. It keeps your foot from falling off when you're not keeping your false leg under load

Other modifications: I still use a cane. So I got a couple small bungee cord like elastic bands that are used for tying up audio and video cables and things like that. They have a plastic claw shaped clip so you can wrap them around thick objects like a bicycle frame top tube. I used these to mount my cane to the bike frame. A tool bag with anything proprietary to your leg is grest. I'd keep tools in it to adjust my prosthesis if needed as well as my phone as wallet. The baggie your pants he better within reason. Extra thins in your pockets limit your range of motion substantially.

So far I've found that dirt jumpers 26" BMX bikes, fixed gears (using a freewheel ) and freestyle fixed gear or any other single speed bikes work great. I used to ride singletrack and I know how great multiple gears can be, but they're really not needed. Don't let a leg amputation stop you from riding the bike you want to ride!!! If I can do it, you can do it.

If anyone had any questions or just wants someone to talk to about adjusting to life as an amputee then please by all means feel free to message me. You're not alone in this. You are a total badass for not giving up on yourself and I'd be lucky to have he chance to help or even just talk to someone that hard core. Thank you for reading all of that and I really hope something in there helps somebody.
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Old 02-23-16, 10:39 AM
  #106  
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Good morning sunny California,

I am a Recreation Therapist working with a young man with a bilateral BKA, who wishes to transition from three wheeled recumbent pedal cycle to a two-wheeled bike. I as curious if you all know of someone who is riding a two-wheel with a bilateral BKA
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Old 05-12-16, 08:30 AM
  #107  
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Greeting from the high Plains of Wyoming. My problem if you can call it one is I had my left big toe amputated a couple of years ago. This combined with bad knees from years of running ended that form of exercise. Back in the 1980's I was an avid Bicycle tourist. I want to at least return to the bicycle. Trying to decide right now what sort of bike to get, another touring machine or an FX bike. A consideration is along the way I developed shoulder rotaror cuff problems I'll be picking the brains here on what to do pedal, and shoe wise for my left foot. I am coming back. My only regret is I wished i had not given up the bike to go running my knees would be in better shape.
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Old 07-17-16, 07:31 PM
  #108  
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Hi there,

I'm a long time rider and avid C&Ver who just hit a wall this past year. I had a knee replacement that went south and I've drastically lost my ability to ride. No offence intended to those who've probably overcome much greater obstacles but the impact on my physical and mental well being has been dramatic.

I'm only getting about 100 degrees of rotation out of my new knee and that likely translates to no more than 150 mm of crank length. Even then I'm not sure I can keep the inflammation and pain down.

So any information or suggestions for sourcing or making custom cranks? There's very little-to-none available off-the shelf and I was hoping to find some alternative solutions. Revision surgery appears to be an unlikely solution in my case.

Thank you.

Well after reading a bit further I found this. I'll do my homework but any other solutions are still appreciated.

Originally Posted by ACyclingRooster View Post
Hi to you all out there. A rather late introduction but nevertheless. This might well serve some purpose transcribed into the other thread for those with disabilities or impairments/disadvantages.
I joined this forum in 2010 after I had not long before received Total Left Knee replacement. I am 4ft 10 inches tall with a 23" inside leg measurement.
That created a massive problem when it came to the full circulatory action of the crank arm on the @Metal Knee side,the maximum bend that I can achieve is 92*. Taller riders would not experience this.
I got over the problem with some 140mm crank arms courtesy of SJS (Thorn) Cycles and used Stronglight rings on their crank-arm 5arm spider.
The shorter crank configuration has created an equivalent of a 2tooth increase in ring size and also has created a very slight difference in cadence because of being slightly nearer the spindle centre.
The alternatives were a few but the shorter crank arms were by far the neatest and less likely for potential failure & wear and tear on the components.
I was so pleased with the end result that I have equipped all three of my bikes the same and all with Marcel Berthet Lyotard Platform Peddles. I can go from one bike to another with the same Vittoria Leather Cycling Shoes and Aluminium Plates with ease.

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Old 07-18-16, 05:33 AM
  #109  
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Originally Posted by clubman View Post
Hi there,

I'm a long time rider and avid C&Ver who just hit a wall this past year. I had a knee replacement that went south and I've drastically lost my ability to ride. No offence intended to those who've probably overcome much greater obstacles but the impact on my physical and mental well being has been dramatic.

I'm only getting about 100 degrees of rotation out of my new knee and that likely translates to no more than 150 mm of crank length. Even then I'm not sure I can keep the inflammation and pain down.

So any information or suggestions for sourcing or making custom cranks? There's very little-to-none available off-the shelf and I was hoping to find some alternative solutions. Revision surgery appears to be an unlikely solution in my case.

Thank you.

Well after reading a bit further I found this. I'll do my homework but any other solutions are still appreciated.
Hi clubman. From what I have read it sounds very much like you are suffering with Scar Tissue that has healed rather quickly and that is causing the restriction. I had it happen with my total replacement left knee and at the time (some 8 weeks later) I could only achieve a 110* bend - I was booked into theatre and manipulation under anaesthetic was carried-out. I was in hospital during the day of the procedure and the next day but allowed home during the afternoon of day three.
A tight dressing was needed to help control the inevitable swelling but after a few days that was removed and regular healing then took place.
It would be best described as shoving my own foot up my backside and anaesthetic was necessary because the pain would have been far more than I could have tolerated - as a result I can now achieve a 92* bend from cold and a 90* bend after a short warm-up on the bike.

You dont say how tall you are and what your inside leg measurement is - it all matters you know.
I stand at 4'10" tall and have a 23" inside leg measurement - at pushing 71 years of age I can be thankful for small mercies as I can still ride my bikes.
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Old 07-18-16, 10:18 AM
  #110  
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Originally Posted by ACyclingRooster View Post
Hi clubman. From what I have read it sounds very much like you are suffering with Scar Tissue that has healed rather quickly and that is causing the restriction. I had it happen with my total replacement left knee and at the time (some 8 weeks later) I could only achieve a 110* bend - I was booked into theatre and manipulation under anaesthetic was carried-out. I was in hospital during the day of the procedure and the next day but allowed home during the afternoon of day three.
A tight dressing was needed to help control the inevitable swelling but after a few days that was removed and regular healing then took place.
It would be best described as shoving my own foot up my backside and anaesthetic was necessary because the pain would have been far more than I could have tolerated - as a result I can now achieve a 92* bend from cold and a 90* bend after a short warm-up on the bike.

You dont say how tall you are and what your inside leg measurement is - it all matters you know.
I stand at 4'10" tall and have a 23" inside leg measurement - at pushing 71 years of age I can be thankful for small mercies as I can still ride my bikes.
Thanks for the response. I won't get into all the gritty history but it appears that it's not scar tissue. I'm 15 months post surgery and an MUA is not advisable. It's been suggested that the type of artificial knee selected for me was a poor one at best. There is ongoing investigation into this.

I have a 28" inseam with rather large musculature. I preferred 165's when I was healthy and able to rotate to 125 degrees. Straightening is still decent at 0 degrees, warmed up I can get -5.

Your numbers seem to be reversed to me. In our system, 120 is desireable, 90 is barely adequate. Yes?
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Old 07-18-16, 10:41 AM
  #111  
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Originally Posted by clubman View Post
Thanks for the response. I won't get into all the gritty history but it appears that it's not scar tissue. I'm 15 months post surgery and an MUA is not advisable. It's been suggested that the type of artificial knee selected for me was a poor one at best. There is ongoing investigation into this.

I have a 28" inseam with rather large musculature. I preferred 165's when I was healthy and able to rotate to 125 degrees. Straightening is still decent at 0 degrees, warmed up I can get -5.

Your numbers seem to be reversed to me. In our system, 120 is desireable, 90 is barely adequate. Yes?
Hi again clubman. My angle of bend at the knee is 2* short of a right-angle and I have absolutely no difficulty with achieving a straight leg when fully extended.
Here in the UK the angle of bend is measured between the thigh-bone and the tibia and seemingly 90* to 92* is perfectly OK and especially at my age.
Until I moved some 5 years ago from a very very bumpy part of West Lancashire,England I could still manage steeper than 1in5 (20%) gradients and on occasions could happily tackle steeper and shorter ones at 11in4 (25%) 1in8 (12.5%) was regularly climbed to even leave my local area.
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Old 07-18-16, 11:02 AM
  #112  
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Originally Posted by ACyclingRooster View Post
Hi again clubman. My angle of bend at the knee is 2* short of a right-angle and I have absolutely no difficulty with achieving a straight leg when fully extended.
Here in the UK the angle of bend is measured between the thigh-bone and the tibia and seemingly 90* to 92* is perfectly OK and especially at my age.
Until I moved some 5 years ago from a very very bumpy part of West Lancashire,England I could still manage steeper than 1in5 (20%) gradients and on occasions could happily tackle steeper and shorter ones at 11in4 (25%) 1in8 (12.5%) was regularly climbed to even leave my local area.
That's all good news, thanks. I look forward to acquiring some shorter cranks and climbing again.
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Old 09-12-16, 07:22 AM
  #113  
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Macular degeneration

My name is Steve Perry and I live in Daytona Beach, FL. The city for auto racing. Well I don't race, but I do bike. I bike to work and for fitness. I do have challenges such as feeling safe in traffic due to not always seeing the traffic light change. I am not always comfortable taking the turn lane if I have to cross many busy lanes to get to it. I will cross in cross walk or the on perpendicular street to go the direction I need. i will continue to lurk around for ideas that might help me.
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Old 06-20-17, 06:24 PM
  #114  
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First post, hope it's in right spot.

Hi I'm Mick from Homosassa, Fl. Fifteen years ago I was enjoying both a road and moutain bike, riding almost daily. Doing some road half centuries and trainning for mt first full century. Medical problems developed which caused me to stop riding and began a decade of nine back surgeries with six fusions and a hip replacement. My life was Dr. appointments, hospitals, nursing homes and a walker till a year and a half ago. Grace of God I've gotten much better. NEW BIKE for my 70th birthday today. I've been ridden a stationary recumbent for a while and today have a bright red Electra Townie 7d. It's one of the few bikes I can mount, I can't balance and raise my right leg to us a step thru frame or swing my leg over in the conventional style but with it's low flat foot seat height and foreward crank postion I can scoot over the rear wheel and onto the seat. I can only ride a mile at a time at this point but I'm a cyclist again! I can prove that, I just ordered upgraded pedals from Nashbar. Spending money on your bike for something it doesn't really need is one mark of a true cyclist.
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Old 06-27-17, 06:59 AM
  #115  
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I'm Richard, based in the UK - Handcyclist living near London.
Handcycling in London is not as bad as one might think, but for the love of god get bike insurance.

I've got EDS with an entire alphabet soup of associated and comorbid conditions.

I ride a bolt-on handcycle straight from my wheelchair, and when I get time on the track, I use a Quickie Shark.
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Old 10-04-17, 09:41 AM
  #116  
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Hi, I'm Valerie. New here (obviously). Live in Ohio, Cincinnati suburbs to be exact lol. I am partially blind (even if I've been trying for years to get SSDI... was told I should've been getting since birth though) because of ROP Stage V at birth. Hoping to read this section of the forums to learn! Nice to meet you all!
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Old 10-04-17, 07:33 PM
  #117  
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Hi Valerie, welcome to Bike Forums. Thanks for introducing yourself. Just some advice, you will probably get more responses in the future by starting your own thread. But until you are ready you're doing the right thing, read and learn. But don't be afraid to reach out.
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Old 10-13-17, 07:28 PM
  #118  
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Jon Chronic level 9 to level 10 pain left SI JOINT

Hi my name is Jon
The title should say level 8 to 10. Not 9.
My left SI Joint was injured in a work accident in 1995 age 25.

Long story short - After seeing countless medical professionals and more and more than a decade later I finally get a proper diagnoses.

From that time on I tried everything to resolve this. With the last thing being a radio frequency ablation... It failed also to work... It was the last thing I could do before trying a very risky much to risky for me to undertake.

What I was left with was level 8 to level 10 pain full time from 2007 to well right now. I have gotten better at coping with the pain overall, and pass out much less often all these years later having lived this way. Since I can end up passed out, or in the fetal or a flat on my back spasm at times I no longer can drive safely. That was the hardest to adjust to.

I use a wheelchair to safely get around and be as independent as I can.

Before anyone asks have I tried (Enter option here) that would be a YES, then once we learned a will not try again.

Anti Psychotic medicine was used for the side effect of pain relief. That failed and caused a bipolar break.

What about opiates? Well the one tried nearly killed me.

Steroids: Not the sports ones... Yes. Did not touch the pain.

Also tried any Eastern medical treatments. While they are very good, non worked.

PT - I tell them what to expect when my pain fluctuates, they say they understand... I have a back spasm, they freak and ask me not to come back anymore. Not once, not twice but dozens of times....

I also have seen many more than I count Doctors that deal with your head in case I was in need of more help upstairs... Nothing found to worry about.

My thought is the nerves damaged from the accident some may have grown back taking new pathways that now go through the area that moves... So imagine a handshake that hurts like hell... But, doesn't break bones. It hurts like crazy because of the squeezing.

The nerves that managed to grow back went through the SI JOINT and when it moves, I feel everything it does. Oh, I can tell you what these joints are here for at this time.

So, over the years I have had to work like hell on my attitude, and how I react to things. One of my fave is when I make spelling mistakes and people get all over me for that... Sorry, the brain is shorting out at times and is not here now.... So if that happens hopefully you might realize why...
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Old 11-02-17, 09:20 AM
  #119  
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Im Enes and i really love cycling a lot
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Old 07-19-18, 06:05 PM
  #120  
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Thumbs up Hi Folks

I am bil. I am a 73 year old codger. When young I biked because it was my transportation. I biked 20 miles to a vegetable farm where I worked when 15. I biked to high school. and biked 18.2 miles to work.

My son did the 200 mile race through three states. Utah, Arizona, and one other. I could never have done that. I am proud of him.

I am writing in this forum because in my old age I am giving back to society. It gave to me big time when I was young.

One of the guys I help is a 63 year old "kid" who has been wheel chair bound since 15. I want to soup up his chair. Looking forward to some interesting feedback.
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Old 08-17-18, 09:41 PM
  #121  
SFC Rod
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Hello

I'm SFC Rodriguez, I started hand cycling in 2015. I was walking across the street to go to the gym on Ft Hood when this ******bag texting and driving hit me with his truck. I suffered a fracture to my tibia right below the knee, a shattered pelvis, several broken ribs, and lacerations to the forehead. I have a flexible bracket holding my pelvis together, I had to have a hip replacement, and two brackets in my knee. I spent 6 months in a wheelchair, two more using a walker, and now have to wear a enormous knee brace in order to walk. I was over 2-1/2 years recovering at the Warrior Transition Unit at Ft Sam Houston, TX and managed to con the Army into keeping me. I teach computers to the new recruits, so I don't exactly have a strenuous job. I began hand-cycling while in the wheelchair because I didn't want to get fat, and now I race and go on challenges with Project Hero. I was a member of Team Army at the 2018 Warrior Games and won Gold in the 7K Bike Race, and Silver in the 7K Time Trial as well as a couple of Bronzes in Wheelchair Track. In a few years I can retire and spend all my days either cycling or at the range.
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Old 08-28-18, 12:50 AM
  #122  
Marci
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Bikes: My Day 6, Big Red.

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Hi my name is Marci and I started riding bikes again in 2015. I had forgotten how fun they are. I ride at least 2 times a week with a group, we do about a 10 mile trip around our little town of Florence. I used to ride/own horses but found that it was getting too hard with knee and back arthritis. I blame Tim at 101 bikes and guitars for getting me back on the bike. I started out on an old Huffy, then found a good used Specialized. (old blue roan - she had quite a few scars and the new blue paint didn't quite match, kinda like an old roan battle scars come in darker-thus the name)
So after my husbands death and resulting heart attack and health problems (Sarcoidosis) I had to start really getting back in shape. I started out swimming laps, I used to swim in my teen years. I still love it and wish I could move as freely out of water. At first it had to take 2nd place behind caring for the old horse but when she passed at age 30 it really set me free to have fun on my bike. Plus made it easier to afford. Due to the arthritis and lung problems I am handicapped but I do keep up with the people in the group pretty well, but I can see a pedal assist in is my future. (boy are they fun!)
The biking has improved my knees a lot, and the range of motion is pretty good. Its the load bearing part that hurts, so walking can be difficult. Just last week I tweaked me worst knee and had to use a cane for a few days but was still able to ride the bike. its weird I know. I think it actually got it to quit being inflamed quicker.
I was doing really well weight wise until I had to use the darn prednisone for a year, gained 50 lbs 25 in the first 3 months. Moon face is not fun, even had a hump on the back. But it did its thing and the sarc eating my pelvis went away. Been off almost 2 months and dropped 10 lbs already. It usually takes longer, but I kept on swimming and biking through it all as best I could. Got pneumonia in Jan last year. Darn immune suppressants. Now I take one a week and its not so bad.
I actually think getting out and biking with my friends helped keep me going. That and my newer Day 6 bike with the big comfy seat, and dog basket on the back. Shes Big Red, much longer than the other bikes. Its been called the Caddy of bikes. Sure has the turning radius of an old Caddy. LOL
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