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Heather Mills - Amputee Forum
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How on earth do you start!

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Hi all,

It is a long while since I've been in this forum, so I'm playing catch up.

Now, I lost my leg 25 years ago. I'm a LAK and I cannot imaigine starting on a bike or in fact coming to a stop in traffic etc. I'm a worry wort and would be so scared in falling over into traffic.

I'm keen though. I can ride a bike at the gym and would love to cycle and then get the freedom to go out with the family etc.

If anybody can help or offer suggestions and encouragement, then let me know! Thank you to anyone who replies.

Steve

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You might also consider a handcycle or a recumbant tricycle...No need to worry about falling!

Lorri

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Hiya Steve,

I'm RBK so it is probably quite a lot easier for me than it would be for you, but basically what you do is get yourself a bike with a toeclip on the left pedal (in your case). To start throw your left leg over the frame, secure the left foot into the toeclip (otherwise it will fall off the pedal while you are cycling along), and then push off on the right pedal with your right foot. You will be amazed at how easy it is once you give it a go. To stop you brake and then you just need to make sure that you tip the bike over onto the right hand side and put your right foot down. If you tip over onto the left you will fall over.

Does that make sense? It really is quite easy once you get the hang of it. Having your right foot should help in the UK traffic because if you fall you will fall into the pavement and not onto the road ie. you will fall to the left which is the pavement side.

Give it a try in a park maybe borrowing someone else's bike to begin with and see how it goes.

Re: the actual cycling, it will probably be a bit more difficult for you than it is for me having my knee, but with decent gears you will be surprised at the steepness of the hills you can get up once you have the hang of the gears.

I have loved getting into cycling as it's one of the few things I can do with one leg and not really feel disadvantaged doing - due mainly to the fact that you aren't really putting any pressure at all on your stump, and if your bad leg is feeling bad you can always do more work with the good one.

Good luck.

Fi

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I am RAK.

The only problems I have is getting started and traffic lights.

Once on and I need to stop I aim for a fence, post, rail etc.

I use toe clips on road bike and SPDs on mountain bike, my ability to do climbs gets better each session.

Think its great exercise for keeping stump in shape and joint balance on residual.

Good luck

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Hi all,

Well thank you to everyone for their replies.

I'm very inspired by everyone and absolutely petrified at getting on a bike. I wish I had one to practice on, so I will have to work on that.

Hopefully I'll give it a go soon, rather than the stationary bike down at the gym.

Steve

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Why not go to a local gym and use an exercise bike a few time to get the feel of it.

Also worthwhile putting the seat down while you practice your getting on/off, but DON'T leave it down, it's very very bad for your knee's and especially as you only have the one doing all the work.

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Hi Rikk,

Apologies, but I wan't clear in my last comment. The gym is a great idea to get going on.

I do already go and use the stationary bike down there and cycle for about an hour or so (at least on a good day!) on various programs.

It is great for the fitness and builds the muscles up in both legs.

Steve

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Hi , I do the exercise bike but being above knee how do u sit comfy in the saddle i move around like i dont no what the socket catches on seat

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Hi , I do the exercise bike but being above knee how do u sit comfy in the saddle i move around like i dont no what the socket catches on seat

There are lots of different seats out there, also don't just go with what's on offer, buy a couple of cheap ones off ebay and alter them around, cut bits out and see what works for you.

It mat also be that you need a leg specifically for cycling, I used my normal leg for about 3 months till I knew this is what I wanted to do them went back to my fitter and got one made up just for the bike.

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I'm a female RBK. At Christmas I decided to but myself a girl's 15 speed bike at Walmart to get started doing something athlectic. My son tried to help me get started, but it didn't work too well at all. He is gone now, but I still have the bike and want to try again. I think part of my problem is that I have a short stump and it is darn near impossible for that leg to bend and stay with the pedal. I'm going to try the velcro trick shown on the video listed. Also, our community has a recreation center with stationary bikes that I think I'll practice on. My prosthetist said I might need to have my old prosthesis altered, cutting the lip of the socket cut way back to give me more range of motion, but I'd only be able to use it for bike riding because it wouldn't support my stump for walking in. Now guys, I'm 62, not in my 20 or 30s. Do you think I have a shot at accomplishing getting some joy into my life by going back to something I enjoyed when I was quite young? Anyone out there had this situation? Through the winter, would practicing on a stationary bike see to help? Thanks for any input anyone can give me.

Carole

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The issues for Bk and Ak riders are very different. I have taught both to ride. For AK you will need to have the trim lines on the socket cut down and it is best to use an additional tens belt to hold the socket on with the reduced brim. if you can place the knee in Swing Phase Easy for C-leg users. I recomend for AK riders a toe clip on the amputated side and spd shoe clips for thesound side.

most BK cyclist never need any adaptation but I highy recommend using SPD clip petals. just have the set lightly and you sould have no problem popping out of the pedals. I suggest being in a doorway and getting on the bike and hold on to the doorway and practice getting in and out of the clips.

no one like to fall but it will happen even to the best riders, able bodied or not, it part of the sportso if you do you are a rel champ!

Dan

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I've been cycling for a few years (have done 3 centurions) and I still won't ride in town unless it's a routed course for a biking tour. It was a car driven by an inexperienced driver that took my foot and so I still trust no one. Yikes! I get a better adrenaline rush riding my bike along the highway (on wide paved shoulders only) than I do when I'm skydiving or scuba diving! :laugh:

Anyway, I'm a left symes amputee and so like Dan said, use a road shoe cleat (http://www.bikepartsplace.com/discount/road-shoe-cleats-sm-sh11-black-yellow) but have is set loser than my right so that I can get out of it. Having said that, because its loser, I tend to slip out of it when I stand for climbs. I therefore, never stand for climbs. This is all right by me since my balance stinks to high heaven anyway. :smile:

The only times I have fallen with my bike is once when I stopped at a stop light to cross a highway (nice big four-lane which always terrified me to cross anyway, because I could never get going quickly enough to get all the way across before the light changed! Hmph!). Anyway, I was so focused on my terror, that I absent-mindedly leaned left instead of right (the right side being the real foot side) and so (it felt like slow motion as it happened) I fell to the left because I couldn't get my prosthetic foot out of the clip in time to catch myself. It popped out on impact however, so I was able to stand myself back up. A lot of cars stopped at the lights got to watch me too. Oh the joy! :blush: The only other time I fell was when I was coasting down a steep decline and when I began to peddle again, my gears were too low and so there was zero resistance and my balance being as sucky as it was/is, caused me to weave, which brought me onto the gravel shoulder (before my "wide paved shoulder only" rule went into effect) where I lost my balance and rolled into the ditch. Still have the scar from that one. My 'significant other' just kept on riding, completely unaware that I was lying in the ditch. Well, all right, so I did not just lie there, but from that day forward, I always ride with my cell phone.

I do hope you get something figured out that will work safely for you. It's soooo enjoyable to be out cycling! Sounds like Dan is a great resource!

Take care,

Amy

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Hi

I expect u tried cycling by now, but if not..

Im an AKA and do lots of miles, through trial and error id say:

Get a bike, and cycling shoes with compatible pedals (recessed SPD cleats are easier to walk in and use)

Adjust the pedals to allow yourself to unclip the shoes easily. For above knee amps, adjust the seat height so that its high enough to avoid full knee flexion (and a clunk on every rotation) and low enough to avoid full knee extension (which sometimes jolts your leg if the knee locks)

Practice clipping in and out of the pedals with one leg on the ground. To begin riding, clip in the prosthetic side first, push off with your good leg, then clip in and away you go. It helps if you have a torsion pylon on your prosthesis as this allows for flexibility of the foot when pedaling

Prior to stopping transfer your weight to your 'good' side, twist your foot and unclip. I tried many times to master unclipping on either side but found that it was much easier to just depend on the unaffected side. Providing that you transfer your weight off the seat and unclip the good side prior to stopping you will always lean to the correct side.

If you are really enthusiastic get hold of a turbo trainer and clock up some miles while your bike is attached to it first.

Short clip of me cycling with my dog:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tV1XVZFnj0k

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Hi

I expect u tried cycling by now, but if not..

Im an AKA and do lots of miles, through trial and error id say:

Get a bike, and cycling shoes with compatible pedals (recessed SPD cleats are easier to walk in and use)

Adjust the pedals to allow yourself to unclip the shoes easily. For above knee amps, adjust the seat height so that its high enough to avoid full knee flexion (and a clunk on every rotation) and low enough to avoid full knee extension (which sometimes jolts your leg if the knee locks)

Practice clipping in and out of the pedals with one leg on the ground. To begin riding, clip in the prosthetic side first, push off with your good leg, then clip in and away you go. It helps if you have a torsion pylon on your prosthesis as this allows for flexibility of the foot when pedaling

Prior to stopping transfer your weight to your 'good' side, twist your foot and unclip. I tried many times to master unclipping on either side but found that it was much easier to just depend on the unaffected side. Providing that you transfer your weight off the seat and unclip the good side prior to stopping you will always lean to the correct side.

If you are really enthusiastic get hold of a turbo trainer and clock up some miles while your bike is attached to it first.

Short clip of me cycling with my dog:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tV1XVZFnj0k

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I have fitted spds which are fine once on the go

What kills me is traffic lights; always try and find a post to lean against rather than "clicking out"

Any suggestions on how to cope?

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I have fitted spds which are fine once on the go

What kills me is traffic lights; always try and find a post to lean against rather than "clicking out"

Any suggestions on how to cope?

Hello Caveman (I think we've spoken once or twice over the years).

How to cope with that problem? Don't use spds. Use great big flat pedals with 'terror pins' and rubber-soled shoes. Your foot will 'stick' to the pedal, and when it comes to getting OUT of the pedal all you do is lift your foot off. Not 100% perfect, but on road riding about 97%. (On rough ground less so, as the big bumps tend to shoot your foot off).

Have a look at this thread for other similar simple ideas:

http://amputees.proboards.com/index.cgi?bo...y&thread=41

Shout if you want explanations!

Allen (bka, London)

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