3 WHEEL MATRIX
… A VACATION FOR THE SENSES
Friday was a beautiful day. Mom’s 1st ride since 4-month-past-shoulder-replacement-surgery was met with curiosity and ongoing encouragement from every co-resident we rode past at her senior living facility. They’re observing Marion Co’s current covid lockdown guidelines. Mary and I got lost in an hour and a half of relaxing trike riding within the large surrounding parking area at Magnolia Springs Senior Living Facility. We covered 4+ miles. Wearing a backtrace and a pain patch for arthritis she said she had no pain throughout her ride. It was my idea to stop riding. Not doing bad for 89 years old.
… FRANKENSTINE PEDALS MADE THE RIDE POSSIBLE
We used my arms to help her step over the boom and settle into the seat. We used my arms to help her step over the boom and settle into the seat instead of ICE’s designed “help me up” bars. Secured her feet into the pedals and we were off. There are special hand controls for those who only have use of one hand to work the brakes and shift the gears. There are “hand cycles” for those who depend only on their arms for power.
The inner-child-generated “trike grin” is the same on all riders. Maybe with those who’ve had their independence and freedom threatened, the grin’s a little closer to the surface and more appreciated?
It had been since last summer and the shock of surgery and stress from rehab that she had to deal with since her last trike ride. As we snaked down narrow sidewalks around potted tomatoes, wrought iron chairs and parked autos, I would suddenly hear a slight bang or miss the sound of her trike. The 1st necessary adjustment was her sense of the limits of the trike’s turning radius. That didn’t take too long.
As Dan Zimmerman, the originator of Spoke Fighting Strokes had done with Anna the teenager dealing with cerebral palsy that we had an 8 mile ride with, we put her trike in 1 gear and let her enjoy the ride and feel the need for a different pedaling cadence … like her single speed bike from childhood.
THERE’S NOTHING LIKE THE REAL THING
After using my arms as a “help-me-up-bar” and 4+ miles, she had wobbly legs. She felt different muscles being used during the ride than when on the stationary recumbent, but had hadno real feeling of fatigue while pedaling. She goes into the health room at her apartment complex and rides the recumbent bicycle-like machine for an hour most days of the week … low setting & TV. The actual trike used a complete muscle network. She will notice relatively more improved balance and leg strength from riding the real thing.