How Disabled People Can Enjoy Cycling

Riding a bike is an activity that many of us take for granted. Cycling is a fantastic exercise in fitness terms and also allows people to get out and explore their world in a really accessible and fun way. Many people with disabilities used to be denied the opportunity to experience this wonderful sport, largely due to cycling technology not having found a way to help them safely ride a bike.

A New Era

Now, thankfully, bike manufacturers are able to provide a greater range of structures and mechanisms on their bikes and tricycles which mean that disabled people now have a chance to experience cycling for themselves. Specialist manufacturers can now make bespoke machines which cater for the needs of individual children and adults, whether that be an additional back rest, self-levelling pedals or changing a machine from a freewheel bike to a fixed wheel machine.

Stylish and Sleek

The variety of machines now available and the way in which technology can be adapted to suit almost anyone is exemplified by the existence of hand pump bikes. These exist to help people who struggle to pedal with their legs and feet, but have reasonable upper body strength. Moved along by a pump mechanism located in the handlebars of a bike, their frame structure also means that the user can sit up safely and in a stable position. As a way of helping to create independence and achievable challenge in a user they are a marvellous therapeutic tool, as well as being great fun.

There is no need to worry these days that a specialist machine such as this looks weird, lumpy or unstylish. Manufacturers now work as hard as possible to ensure that the lines, designs and colours of their machines are as stylish as any mainstream cycle. No one need worry that they will be standing out from the crowd in a negative way if they are out racing around with their friends. Instead, the style and sharp appearance of most specialist bicycles is right on trend.

Two Seater Thrills

Another fairly recent innovation in terms of cycles for people with special needs is the advent of companion cycles. These machines often allow two or more people to sit together on a cycle, almost as if it was a car. This is a tremendous help to parents and carers, who can not only offer the support and care that their child might need when riding, but also allows them to share in the fun. These machines are especially useful when on a family holiday.

hand cycles

Photo Credits: http://www.flickr.com/photos/meandmyshadow/4551009545/

The benefits of cycling will soon become apparent once you have established a regular routine of using the bike in the great outdoors. Fresh air, exercise and fun are marvellous therapies for any kind of long-term condition and using a bike always adds another layer of texture to someone’s life. However serious or seemingly difficult someone’s condition might be, manufacturers can now design and produce a bike or a tricycle for them to use. Getting hold of one can be a literally life-changing event.

This guest post was written by Francesca, a British blogger with a passion for health and fitness. She writes on behalf of All Ability Cycling, who produce all ability hand cycles.

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