Cycling has always been a great way to enjoy the outdoors, improve cardiovascular fitness, and socialize with friends and family. In recent years, cycling has become one of the most popular forms of outdoor recreation. With the exception of the occasional spill, cycling is low impact and not detrimental to the body.
Until recently, not everyone had the luxury of hopping on a bike and going for a ride. Technological advances, however, have opened the door for the disabled community to enjoy cycling. With help from Adaptive Adventures and other adaptive sports programs across the country, almost everyone can hop on a bike and feel the wind in their face.
Adaptive Cycling is really a very simple concept: modify and adapt cycles to suit an individual rider. We’re not talking about a few strange bikes for a few individuals either. Disability affects each and every one of us, and I can practically guarantee that you already know —or will soon meet—someone with a disability who could benefit from adaptive cycling equipment. The beauty of adaptive cycling, is that it is truly a multi-disability sport. No two disabilities are identical, and there are endless adaptations that can be made.
Fortunately, the last ten years of research and development have produced a variety of adaptive cycling equipment, making it possible for nearly anyone to ride. There are adapted bikes for people with amputations, spinal cord injuries, sight-impairments, cerebral palsy, and so on. The list is endless. Most of the time, the modification is slight: a “standard” 2-wheeled bicycle with a retrofit brake set (2 brakes on one side, for instance) for an amputee, or a tandem with a blind “stoker” on the back, or a “holster” for an above knee amputee.
One of the most significant developments, has been the handcycle. Introduced about 15 years ago, handcycles enable riders with a lower-limb mobility impairment (i.e.; spinal cord, CP, MS) to propel a 3-wheeled cycle using their arms. In the last five years, handcycle development has exploded to become the most popular and widely practiced form of adaptive cycling. In addition, it is the newest and largest component of the International Paralympic Committee’s (IPC) Disabled Cycling Program.
Handcycling has always been the cornerstone of the Adaptive Adventures cycling program. Over the last decade, we have run over 100 camps, clinics, and demos and put over 1000 people on handcycles. Adaptive Adventures is sponsored by Invacare Top/End and is also a National Test center. We have over a dozen different handcycles for all ages and sizes in our mobile trailer in Chicago and 25 different handcycles at the Boulder office.
For information contact our National Cycling Manager -email- Chris Wiegand or call 303-679-2770