Adaptive Bikes for People with Limited Mobility

Ambucs Bike Build

Members of the local Semper Fi Riding Club were some of the volunteers who assembled adaptive bikes for people with limited mobility at the Ambucs bike build.  Being mobile is vital to the health and welfare of people with movement disorders so it is very rewarding to be a part of helping 12 more people to increase their independence.

Adaptive Bikes for People With Limited Mobility
Semper Fi members assemble Ambucs bikes

AMBUCS – American Business Clubs –is dedicated to creating mobility and independence for people with disabilities and fulfills this mission by:

Performing various forms of community service including building ramps and accessible playgrounds

Providing AmTryke therapeutic tricycles to individuals unable to operate a traditional bike

Awarding scholarships to therapists

AMBUCS – was formed in 1919 by Auburn graduate William White. His dream was to begin a national service organization for young business and professional men. Today there are more than 130 chapters in over 30 states – and they’re still growing! To learn more about AMBUCS and how to participate in adaptive bike build or their programs log on to: www.ambucs.org.

Adaptive Bikes for People with Limited Mobility
Sempre Fi Members assemble Ambucs Bikes

Types of Adaptive Bikes for People With Limited Mobility:

We are Cycling is a group that promotes all forms of cycling and classifies adaptive bikes for people with limited mobility:

Tricycles

Tricycles have three wheels, which means that the rider does not need to be able to balance. This is particularly useful for people with learning disabilities, such as Dyspraxia, and those recovering from illnesses (strokes, for example). Tricycles can be fitted with foot plates to make it easier for riders to rotate the pedals and they come in upright or recumbent (horizontal sitting position). For adults and children with balance issues, stabilizers can also be fitted to standard bikes, which makes them more like tricycles.

Adaptive Bikes for People with Limited Mobility
Tammy and Willard

Tandems

Tandems can have two, three or four wheels and are made for two people to ride together. Cycle configurations may have one rider in front of the other, or side by side in the case of three and four-wheeled machines. Tandems are particularly helpful when there’s a need to take over the pedaling or steering. Two-wheeled tandems are particularly good for people with visual impairments too. Another possibility for partnered riding is a ‘tag-along’ which consists of half a bike that bolts on to a standard 2-wheel bike. These are more commonly used for children, but there are adult versions on the market.

Hand Powered Cycles

Hand powered cycles work along the same principle as standard cycles. The pedals are replaced with handles that also steer, and riders use their arms to push the

Adaptive Bikes for People with Limited Mobility
Adaptive Trike

handles around to drive the chain and wheels. Most hand cycles have three wheels, although some have four wheels. Four-wheel cycles may have power assistance instead of the rider turning handles, or they may be built for going down hill, in which case gravity powers the bike.  As with tricycles, hand cycles can have upright seats or low down recumbent seats. Specialist ‘clip on’ cycles are also available that can be attached directly to a persons wheelchair.  Hand cycles are used by people with limited or no lower body mobility, e.g. because of paraplegia, leg amputations and those with joint problems such as arthritis. Hand cycles are also useful for rebuilding upper body strength – e.g. by those recovering from stroke.