Mud as a Road Hazard

Gained Full Confidence in a Recumbent Trike’s Stability


She chose a for a reason; the trike design provides excellent stability.  Her riding experiences support that assertion.

 “Adapt or Perish……”

In 2003, my wife Laura took a spill on her two-wheel bike.  She had noticed her ability to was not as keen as it had been.  Multiple sclerosis (MS) manifested itself with a classic symptom: impaired balance.  Having a diagnosis of MS can change things.   Adaptations can be required meet MS’s narcissistic impositions. To give up riding a bike was an adaptation that Laura did not want to make; she discovered she did not have to!

 One definition of adapt is to: become adjusted to new conditions.  Look at the following synonyms for this definition of adapt.

  • adjust to
  • acclimatize oneself to
  • acclimate to
  • accommodate oneself to
  • attune to
  • conform to
  • habituate oneself to
  • become habituated to
  • get used to
  • reconcile oneself to
  • come to terms with
  • acculturate to
  • assimilate to
  • blend in to
  • fit in to

 

 

 

 

Situations may require us to adapt in this way, but not this time!

Another definition of adapt is to: make (something) suitable for a new use or purpose; modify.   This definition has the following synonyms.

  • modify
  • alter
  • change
  • adjust
  • readjust
  • convert
  • redesign
  • tweak
  • restyle
  • refashion
  • remodel
  • reshape
  • revamp
  • rework
  • rejig
  • refine
  • redo
  • reconstruct
  • reorganize
  • customize
  • tailor
  • improve
  • amend

 

 

 

 

 

 

The synonyms of the first definition do not have to be the solution to riding with a balance problem.  My wife does not have to “come to terms with” or “reconcile oneself to” not riding a bike.  An “adaptation” already exists: the .  Laura can get a bike that is “tweaked”, “redesigned”, or arguably “improved.”  The bike has adapted!

My Wife Wants to Be a Zero Percenter!

Balance issues are not the sole cause of headers.  Ruptured tires, potholes, mud, ice, wet roads, loose gravel, or sand can send a cyclist to the ground.

 Emphasis and highlights are mine:

For all crashes falls accounted for 59% with running into a fixed object being the next most frequent at 14%. Moving motor vehicles were involved in 11% and another in 9% of all crashes regardless of severity .

Curated from Bicycling Life

The goal is for Laura (me for that matter) to be involved in 0% falls.  (She has been a part of the 14% statistic: running into a fixed object!  I will let her tell that story on her own.)  The trike provides a stable platform that can help prevent the most common type of crash: falls.  Enjoying a ride at Cedar City Trail she confronted a road condition that tested the trike’s stability.

She slides! She’s safe!

Tire slipped in the mud
Tire slipped in the mud

Laura was in the lead as we made our way around the entrance to the pedestrian bridge.  The path rising to the bridge entrance has a sharp 180- degree turn corralled by a stone retaining wall.  Run-off caused by heavy rains earlier in the week created an unavoidable three-foot-wide mud patch completely across the paved trail.  She cornered the blind 180 degree turn; the trike’s front tire met the mud patch obliquely.  What happened next was nothing short of amazing: nothing! The front tire slid  in the wet mud until it caught traction on the dry concrete.  Laura, safe and unhurt, waited for me to catch up.

Discussion for the next few minutes focused on the tire slide experience.  The front tire sliding three feet with Laura staying upright supported our belief in the trike’s stability.   We are happy knowing we have found an adaptation that provides us the liberty to continue riding together.

My wife’s return to was as simple as switching from a two-wheeled bike to a delta trike.  The good news is that bikes can be adapted for other physical impairments as well!

 

Adaptive Cycling

Innovative people make adaptive cycling an option for eager would-be cyclists who previously would not have had the opportunity to ride.  The bike adapts and people ride.  I love this idea. I would like to include the following from Adaptive Adventures.

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.

 Back in the Saddle….

Balance issues forced Laura to rethink riding a bike.  She needed a stable bike that provided a more safe cycling option.   The “discovery” of a trike provided her with the perfect adaptive riding solution.   Personal riding experience supports the claim that recumbent provide great stability.   The trike has put her back in the saddle again safely!

2 Comments

  • Karen (#)
    October 31st, 2016

    Thank you for you encouraging article. I have a neurological condition and am unable to stand for very long and have poor balance. I am interested in your opinion for an inexpensive, sturdy recumbent trike. I live in Indianapolis, but have family in Memphis so I could shop either place.

    • jamescb68@gmail.com (#)
      November 5th, 2016

      Thanks for your comment!! I sent you an email with some thoughts on recumbent trikes. Keep it touch, I would like to know what you decide on….

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