Trikes, bikes and coping with illness

©Barry Sandland/TIMB - Man on his tricycle, recovering from medical conditions

©Barry Sandland/TIMB – Recovery on three wheels with a tricycle.

“I was sick and so I have to get exercise. Two, two and a half hours especially if there is sun. I have diabetics, heart issues, epilepsy. Last year, I had an epileptic attack and was in hospital 36 days. I had the attack and fell badly so I can no longer walk for exercise. It was because of that I had to stay in hospital. Now I am handicapped for the rest of my life since I can no longer walk.

“I can do exercise on the bike, but I do not ride very fast. It is a gentle ride. I have improved, but the illness is just the illness. It is permanent. There are medicines to take every day. When I went to get the bike, they also had two-wheeled, electric bikes, but I no longer have a sense of balance. But I will continue with the bike now. Nice rides and it rides well. I can get in 10 to 15 kilometres in a day. It is good. I could actually think I am a cyclist now. Every day I ride.”

Notes: I have seen this cyclist a few times in the city centre. And, as always, I have shot past and thought, “Next time”. But the idea of this daily trike cyclist always entertains me. The chat brought back memories for me. How quickly life can change. My dad was a cyclist from his first days. A true British tourist. He was a touring cyclists born and bred.

I can remember being at school in the UK when I was just six, seven, eight years old and dad would come and get us on his bike. Four kids. One on each pedal, one on the seat and the last on the handlebars. Dad would have to push us the half mile back home.

Late in life, he developed a thyroid condition and, post-operation, his life on a bike was over. He had no balance. Twenty-four hours and everything was changed. I wish we had thought about tricycles and the like. Had some thought about options. It would have been nice, if only for a couple of kilometres a day… But cancer came much faster.

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