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Zimom 03-31-13 03:50 PM

AK leg needs starting advice
My daughter is an AK. She has been using a handcycle for years but is finally learning how to master a bike. However she seems light years away from starting on her own. As long as I hold the back of her seat and give her plenty of time to get her prosthetic on the pedal into the 'cage' and then position her other leg at the top she can start.

Help!?!?! Can you explain the difference between clips and clip less? I would prefer she just wear her tennis shoes unless something is going to be much easier for her.

Written advice is appreciated but videos are also very helpful for her.

Juan Foote 03-31-13 04:15 PM

I am a BK, so I really don't understand all the factors that are in play. Being without the knee is going to make things a bit harder, but perhaps mentioning what I do may be of help to you (her).

I use clipless. I found that using clips (cages) was problematic both from a "getting in" standpoint as well as just not being as secure as I would like. I clip in with the prosthesis and leave it permanently attached while I ride. I solely use my good leg to clip in/out and while stopping and starting. With a bit of practice and forethought it works out pretty well. I personally pull the prosthesis up to about 2-3 o'clock and push with my glutes to get started. I cannot use my quads (like she wouldn't be able to) due to knee damage. The hardest part about it is simply having the confidence to know you aren't going to fall over that way. Sometimes you do though, and you just have to remember not to stick an arm or elbow out, just roll like a turtle.

Best of luck to your daughter.

Zimom 03-31-13 06:02 PM

Thanks for your information. I finally figured out clipless is what I always thought of clips.

Zimom 03-31-13 06:18 PM


Juan Foote 03-31-13 06:18 PM

I live in North Atlanta right now, but was from the "Southern Crescent". Where are y'all located?

I have seen a few other amps about, but am the only one within the group I was riding. I have recently moved and haven't met any folks on this side of town yet. I really have to get myself back in shape from a season off with bad eating habits on top before I am ready for the hills up

Zimom 03-31-13 07:06 PM

We are in Atlanta usually once a week at least.

jefuchs 03-31-13 08:50 PM

You're talking about a pedal with a "cage"? Get rid of that! I'm an AK, and I can tell you that something like that would give me fits. She needs a regular pedal.

I don't remember anybody helping me learn to ride a bike. I struggled with it, and even tried to put the bike in the garbage can, out of frustration. I guess I was about seven years old. Eventually I got it.

I start by placing my prosthetic foot on the pedal, sitting on the seat, and I push off with my real foot. This usually requires me to push two or three times. I never get enough momentum from a single push.

Maybe you can get her to sit on the seat and push herself around with her good foot, not trying to pedal at all. When she's comfortable with that, she can move on to pedaling. But her prosthetic foot should be firmly on the pedal before putting the bike in motion... or at least that's what has worked for me, and I've been riding a bike with a prosthesis since 1966.

Juan Foote 03-31-13 09:03 PM


Originally Posted by Zimom (Post 15452869)
Just head on down 75 about 60 miles. We are in Atlanta usually once a week at least.

The group at Epic Bikes is doing a slow pace ride on Monday nights. I used to be the ride leader for that pace before we moved, and still plan to ride there often.

Zimom 03-31-13 10:01 PM

She does not have enough control over her little leg to keep it on the pedal without some help. A cage is what we have found for success so far.

jefuchs 04-02-13 02:24 PM

Yes, I'm PFFD, but every case is different, so what works for me may not work for her. Looks like you guys have to do some problem solving. Not knowing exactly what her issues are, I'm not sure I'd have any useful advice for you.

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