Category Archives: Disabled
Can tadpole trikes really fly? No, I don’t mean like what you see in the picture above. I am talking about flying aboard a commercial passenger airliner. And I am talking about flying for free. The answer to that question is a definite maybe.
Note – Please keep in mind that I am no expert on this subject and most of what I am about to say is simply my thoughts and opinion. You need to check into this to find out for sure how all this works if you have in mind to take your trike with you as a mobility assistive device.
I think it is up to the airline as to whether they will accept a trike as a “MOBILITY ASSISTIVE DEVICE”. By that I mean whether or not they are convinced that a person truly needs and uses a trike for mobility out of necessity so that it qualifies. If they will then you are “in like Flint”. I Googled this subject, but didn’t find much about it. For some of us our trikes truly qualify, but for others we would be less than honest if we try to use this approach to get free transportation for our trikes. It comes down to our honesty and integrity. We will all stand before the judgement seat of Jesus Christ and give an account for everything in our lives.
Keep in mind that the airlines mostly deal with wheelchairs and power scooters. Their informative webpages and written articles are not geared for tadpole trikes so trike owners must pursue this on their own and work it all out. That being said, the following airlines have written about mobility assistive devices:
There may be more and probably are, but I didn’t readily find anything more to list here.
The following is found on Hawaiian Airlines’s website:
“What’s an Assistive Device?
Assistive devices are:
Any piece of equipment that helps a passenger with a disability to cope with the effects of the disability. Assistive devices help people hear, see, communicate, maneuver, or perform other functions of daily life, and may include medical devices and medication, wheelchairs, motorized scooters, walkers, crutches, Segways, canes, braces, portable toilets, and other devices, equipment or items that help people with disabilities.“
I would think if Segways qualify a tadpole trike certainly ought to. 🙂
HERE is a general article on the subject. Like I said, I can’t find much available about this subject. My guess is (and it is only a guess … I could be wrong) some airlines might be more accommodating (easily persuaded) than others. That being said they are all under the same regulations and requirements. HERE is the FFA Guidance.
Definitely whether a tadpole trike is flying for free or being paid extra for the trike needs to be properly prepared for the trip to ensure it is protected and arrives unscathed and intact. Some components should be disassembled and removed and the trike should be wrapped in some sort of protective material. Parts that stick out extra far such as the boom and crankset, neck rest, etc. are best removed and wrapped up individually. They can be attached securely to the trike so long as they are not protruding out and vulnerable to getting damaged or snagging on something. The chain should be removed. Again, it can be attached to the trike. It should be in some sort of container to keep any oil/dirt from getting onto anything else. Lights may need to be removed as they may be vulnerable to damage.
Wet cell or Lithium-ion batteries are an additional concern and must be addressed to be in compliance with safety requirements of airlines. At the very least the airlines need to be informed of such batteries and their location. It is best to avoid taking such batteries aboard an aircraft.
Traveling with a tadpole trike will require arriving at the airport earlier than normal in order for them to process and load your trike on board the plane so it is important to communicate with the airline to know what they require concerning this.
Note – A reader of this blog commented after this article was posted that it is very easy to have the airline accept a tadpole trike as a Mobility Assistive Device as they are not allowed to question the owner about the nature of their disability. He also said that the trike is loaded onto the plane with little to no disassembly.
Note from me about the note above – I personally would be very concerned about handing my trike over “as is” to be loaded onto an airplane. I would be concerned about mirrors being snapped off and lights being broken or broken off and missing. And I would be concerned about other damage happening if other items are in contact with the trike during the time it is in the plane.
So, yes … tadpole trikes can really fly … and it would indeed be great to have your trike with you if you are able to ride it where you are heading to. We all want to …
KEEP ON TRIKIN’
As some of you know I recently underwent total knee joint replacement. That, of course, means that I haven’t been doing any riding. Naturally I really miss it and am anxious to resume riding ASAP. My doctor had told me I ‘might’ be able to ride by 3 weeks post surgery. It has been 2 and a half weeks thus far. Well, I decided to try it. After all I rode the recumbent exercise bike in outpatient rehab last Friday and did ok with that. So this afternoon I decided to give it a go. My wife had gone to work so there was no one here to try to stop me. 🙂 I got my trike out and got it all ready to ride (lights turned on and safety flags in place). My main concern was getting back up out of the seat as I expected that to be problematic. It turned out that should have been the least of my concerns. Sitting down onto the seat was more challenging than I thought it would be, but I made it ok. It was a bit challenging to get my recovering leg into position and my foot resting properly on the pedal, but again I accomplished it and was “ready to go”. As things turned out what I expected to probably be the easiest part of all this turned out to be the most difficult … pedaling. I took off rolling down the driveway toward the street and as I made my first revolution of the crankset and started bringing my new knee joint back toward me I quickly discovered that it caused excruciating pain.
(No, this is not a picture of my knee.)
Normally with the heel slings I use I am able to lift my feet off of the pedals easily and quickly, but with my bum leg I could not do so. The pain just continued. Finally I got my foot off of the pedal and because of all the pain and weakness in the knee joint area I could not hold my foot up off of the ground like I normally can so my shoe made contact with the ground as the trike was still rolling (I did not want to stop in the middle of the street).
That resulted in more pain and I nearly experienced “leg suck“. I somehow managed to avoid that and made it over to the opposite side of the street by the curb where I sat for a few minutes trying to recover. Not knowing how I was going to do trying to get up out of the seat I was concerned that I might have to sit there until I can flag down some help from a passerby. Fortunately when I made the attempt to get up out of the seat I found it to be extremely easy. Upon getting up I started walking my trike back over across the street and up the driveway. I put my trike away and called it quits … realizing that I am not ready for “prime time”. I think the seat vs. pedal height position comes into play here. I think I could do much better pedaling in a traditional riding position such as I had when I rode the recumbent exercise bike in rehab last Friday. It looks like I am going to have to get the 2 wheel recumbent bike out to ride for now as the riding position is quite similar to the exercise bike in rehab. Although it hurt like crazy it probably did me good stretching in bending like that. The outside of my knee joint has healed up nicely and looks pretty good, but it is another story internally. The knee joint remains inflamed, tight, stiff and very sore. It is still generating a lot of heat. And to think that in 3 and a half weeks I am going to have the other knee joint replaced. I don’t think I will be doing much trike riding until next Spring.
(No, this is not a picture of me. That is my trike in the background though. The picture is of a friend who walked the local trails for many many years until he had to give it up recently for health reasons.)
At least now I will hopefully be able to walk on the trails thru the winter months. That is something I haven’t been able to do for many many years and I really miss it. Anyway, as loud as I must have yelled today I figured you might have heard me. 🙂 For those of you who can …
KEEP ON TRIKIN’
and I will join you when I can
We hear/read the testimonies nearly everyday … how a tadpole trike has literally transformed lives. Many have had various debilitating injuries and medical/physical issues arise which have greatly taken away from their former vibrant lives including the ability to safely ride a bicycle. Yes, tadpole trikes can and often do make the difference. People experience a second chance. They have a …
One well known triker is Catherine Brubaker. From her YouTube video description:
“Catherine Brubaker is a fighter. After suffering Traumatic Brain Injury (twice) she has come back and is a real inspiration to everyone she meets. Now she is embarking on a real challenge- a cross country ride on her recumbent trike from Washington state to Key West. She’s joining others on the ride and needs your help to make this dream happen.”
Of course, this is past history now. She completed the epic ride spoken of in the video and is still riding her trike and fighting the good fight. Go Cat, go!
As I understand it from watching the next video below both she and Dan (mentioned below) made this ride together from Washington to Florida.
Here is another video, a newer one, which features both Catherine and Dan Zimmerman. Dan suffered a stroke. They are currently planning another ride … from Washington to Massachusetts, a distance of 3814 miles. She and Dan are will be riding thru 15 states on this next journey together starting in June 2016. It is called “Sea to Sea Tour”.
Perhaps if you live somewhere along their planned route you can come out and show your support when they are near you. Perhaps you can ride along with them for part of their journey (assuming that’s okay with them). Check out the planned route and schedule HERE. (They will coming to within about 40 miles from me. I hope I will be able to go there and see them.) You can read more about Catherine and what she is about HERE.
HERE is Catherine’s Facebook page where you can follow her as she pedals away. Catherine says “I gained hope through riding my trike”. And Dan has the same testimony.
Yes, tadpole trikes can provide hope and a means of a new lease on life. May we all …
KEEP ON TRIKIN’
Note: I want to state upfront that when I started writing this article I was under the impression that this tadpole trike journey was still ongoing. It was not until after I completed writing the article that I discovered that the ride was completed in August 2014. I have made some changes in what I wrote in an attempt to try to reflect this, but I can’t assure you the reader that everything will be clear and accurate. I am still a bit confused myself. Never the less, I think you will find it an interesting story.
Dan says ‘cycling is therapeutic and gives him purpose’.
Dan McGuire is a determined tadpole rider who indeed is an inspiration as well as a challenge to the rest of us. I think he is approximately 83 now. Dan is stricken with Parkinson’s Disease as well as arthritis, scoliosis and something weird with his eye according to his daughter. She writes “Canada is his playground” and it sure looks like he is making his way around its vastness. He started this current journey in 2013. He was diagnosed with Parkinson’t in 2007. Dan has been a longtime cyclist with several accomplishments in the past. This was approximately a 10,000 km (6214 mile) trike ride he set out on at approximately 80 years old and he did it alone although others have accompanied him on parts of his journey.
You can read his daughter’s article about him HERE.
And HERE is Dan’s Facebook page.
Note: Although his journey ended in 2014 the following webpage appears to be still up and functioning as far as I know … And HERE is a webpage where you can donate on behalf of Dan to help Parkinson Society British Columbia. Their statement is that they are “there for those in need. Our friendly and knowledgeable staff is committed to offering support, sharing reliable information and raising funds for programs and research. We receive no government funding, so we rely on you. ” Dan has a personal goal set to raise $10,000 for this organization. On this webpage you can also leave a comment for Dan to encourage him and wish him well.
Upon further reading about Dan it appears that his journey across Canada was successfully completed in 2014. It just goes to show ya that you have to be careful what you read online. 🙂
Dan, I don’t know if you will ever see this and read it, but I just want to say thanks for your commitment and effort in raising awareness and demonstrating that life isn’t over just because one becomes affected by Parkinson’s Disease. Your journey was (and is) indeed incredible and my hat is off to you. I don’t know your current status as to whether or not you are still cycling, but I sure hope you are and will be able to continue to do so for some time yet. You are an encouragement and inspiration to the rest of us to …
KEEP ON TRIKIN’
If you are physically disabled/handicapped/limited and ride a tadpole trike you may be eligible to travel via commercial airlines with your trike at no cost for the trike. Airlines charge a very large fee for transporting trikes so this could be very helpful. Here is an article about this subject …
And here are a couple of articles about trikes being used by those with special needs …
Onboard electric drives are not the only means available to assist riders in their pedaling. The Ridekick has been around for awhile and the Brouhaha trailer attempted to make it to market, but was unsuccessful in their Kickstarter campaign. Now this new comer, Wheezy, is trying to make it to market. The key word there is “trying” as this has also been in the Kickstarter campaign. According to their Kickstarter page it has been cancelled as of Oct. 24th. I am not sure what that means as far as whether or not the product will ever make it to market.
Here is some of what they have to say about this product designed in the UK:
“Wheezy turns any bike into an e-bike in a click. No special adjustments necessary simply connect Wheezy to your existing wheel and you’re good to go!
The 1.5 amp battery charger is built into Wheezy’s frame so you can charge the 166 Wh battery pack easily in the office, at home or anywhere you like. . Pull its cord out to plug it into the wall for charging. Fold it back into the frame when the charge is complete. A full charge can take anywhere from 2.4 to 4 hours, depending on the battery capacity. You can travel 12-31 miles (20-50 km) per charge with Wheezy, depending on the rider’s weight, the air pressure of the bicycle tires, riding conditions and the model’s battery capacity (Wh). Three models are being offered:
Originally the company hoped to start shipping this product by the middle of next May. I don’t know where things stand now since the Kickstarter campaign did not go well. They offered lower prices ($400, $490 & $740) on the product to backers, but didn’t get much response. All I can say is … if those are lower prices I would hate to see what their normal price will be. I think those prices are plenty high.
Wheezy is an electric auxiliary all-terrain wheel. It operates on a brushless wheel hub motor that is entirely enclosed, protected from erosion. This means high efficiency, reliability, no noise, no maintenance and a long lifetime.
Wheezy runs on a small lightweight NiMH battery pack used for hybrid vehicles. NiMH is much safer and lasts longer than the lithium (Li-ion) batteries used for standard e-bikes.
It comes with a smart microcontroller, creating for smooth operation and utmost battery efficiency.
Wheezy is encased in a lightweight steel chassis, a frame and running gear, making it much stronger and durable than its aluminum counterparts. Its zinc coating even prevents rusting.”
Setup is fast and easy … Generally, you need to do 3 simple things;
1) Replace the left rear wheel nut. 2) Add install Pedal Assist Systems (PAS) or Hand Throttles. 3) Connect Wheezy.
Here are various items available for use with this product:
Wheezy videos on YouTube.
The Wheezy unit weighs about 26 pounds (12 kg). It can be wheeled easily using the tongue to hold onto so that it doesn’t have to be carried. A key-based power switch and battery lock system adds security. The unit can be operated as a pedal assist system or manually with a thumb throttle.
Obviously this is designed for a bicycle. However, with some adaptive ingenuity I would rather imagine that it could be made to work on a tadpole trike. Of course, first it would have to come to market. We’ll see what happens.
Today is Veterans Day and I don’t want to let it pass by without posting something about it. As an eight year military veteran myself I know the sacrifices involved in serving in the military. I appreciate those who serve and want to say thanks for their service. I am a firm believer in “giving honor to whom honor is due” and so I salute my fellow veterans.
Yeah, that was me at about 18 years old. I was looking down at a young child who was also wearing a navy uniform of sorts and we were saluting each other.
I have often thought about how neat it would be to have military veterans riding together in a Veterans Day parade with each former serviceman flying the flag of their particular branch of the military.
There are organizations which exists to help reach out to military veterans who need help coping. A part of their therapy is recumbent trikes. … “ROLLING THERAPY”
ForgottenNotGone.ORG is dedicated to helping save veterans and their families from the destruction of suicide. Feeling alone,forgotten and abandoned, causes 22 veterans a day to take their own lives in the United States.
AZUB BIKE is known for building high quality custom recumbent bikes and trikes. Among many customizations they have developed also the “push brakes” which allow disabled people to ride on bikes in case they do not have ability to operate regular brake levers.
Azub also assemble Shimano Alfine 11 with electronic shifting for easy operation and they have a couple of other options and accessories for disabled riders as well. I went to their WEBSITE and searched for what they have to offer and came up empty handed. If it is on their website I don’t know how you locate it.