That world tour where robberies keep interfering with the journey

©Barry Sandland/TIMB - North American touring cyclist w his bike in Brussels

©Barry Sandland/TIMB – Every bike tour starts with people telling you what could go wrong .. they just are not supposed to come true

“I am just riding, trying to see every country. I really don’t have a plan. Every country everywhere. I have riridden 18 months in North America. Mexico got in the way of going to South America. I got robbed, and guns and all that kind of stuff. The first time I tried to go through to Mexico, I crossed the border at south Texas and somebody came up alongside in a car and told me to pull over and I, like a dumb American, I said ‘No’. Like I could outrun them, or something. So they opened a door and Continue reading

First response, and the cool factor, with bikes at the airport

©Barry Sandland/TIMB - Emergency responder on a bicycle at Montreal International airport

©Barry Sandland/TIMB – Two wheels and emergency response in Montreal

“We are the first responders here at the airport and if there is a problem, we are always the first there. We can get there in a couple of minutes. We ride our bicycles  all through the airport. A paramedic is called automatically, if it is a medical issue. We have everything on board. There are sirens and lights. Everything. And riding through the airport is very cool.” Continue reading

Bike tours should still be done with a bit of speed

@Michael Basham - Cyclist on the bike paths in Ontario

@Michael Basham- Great roads, great sun…

“This is my daily bike, slightly adjusted for touring. The slow stuff. The tires are super-endurance versions that do me well, but makes the bike a bit slower. But I love the high seat and low handlebars. I brought this set up design over from the road bikes so I would have a faster, more competitive ride, even when touring. In my mind, I might be setting the bike up for a tour, but it can be a fast tour. I suppose it is the speed mindset instilled from bygone racing days.” Continue reading

Making a disability a little safer, maybe a little faster

©Barry Sandland/TIMB - Cyclist with paralysed arm on bike path in Ottawa

©Barry Sandland/TIMB – Bike trails with the chance for distance and speed

“When I first got the bike, I reached over to change the gears and I was alongside the curb and I fell and I thought I would never let that happen again. When I fell, my knee fell on my arm and bruised it so badly I had to go to hospital. So my girlfriend, who is really into cycling, said, ‘When we go riding, I got you this. Please put it on’. And so I wear a sling. So doing the ride, people notice the guy is hurt.” Continue reading

What might be less than obvious with a disabled cyclist

©Barry Sandland/TIMB - Cyclist with paralysed arm on bike path in Ottawa

©Barry Sandland/TIMB – Disabilities in riders are not always easy to see.

“My arm is paralysed. A permanent thing and I have learned to live with it. When I don’t have my sling on, I have no flags, nobody notices. It wasn’t hard to move to a bicycle. I was paralyzed on a motorbike and getting on a bicycle was kind of therapy. With just one arm, I have to be more cautious, but I’m going to get another bike because I know I’m enjoying this.”
Continue reading

Military service that ends with a recumbent

©Barry Sandland/TIMB - Woman with her service dog on HP-Velotechnik

©Barry Sandland/TIMB – With service dog in tow, a trike-bike navigate the bicycle path

“I hurt my neck on military training. I was carrying a big rucksack that was too big for me and it put my helmet down onto my chest and I was jogging for two  hours with my chin on my chest, fully loaded. Not too much fun. My muscle wall seized. That was three years ago. I can walk but not for more than 15 to 20 minutes. My shoulders start to hurt. I cannot run. Cannot drive. I am getting released from the military because of it.”

New muscles, new targets for para-cyclist

©Barry Sandland/TIMB - Hand-powered bike for para-cyclist

©Barry Sandland/TIMB – Moving to a new power system is a long slow process

“The whole upper body is so much stronger now. I have a motor-assist now because, that little hill I just came up, I would have had to gear way down. The problem is the brakes and gears are down here so when you are  changing gears, you cannot pedal. Kind of a screwed up system. So I drop a couple of gears before I even get there. I am doing 20-25 kilometres every time I go out. I get home thinking, ‘That was a nice ride’. The muscle development is more like toning. But I have far more than I used to have. I can walk on my arms – almost.” Continue reading

The double whammy of recovering from a life changing accident

€Barry Sandland/TIMB - Hand powered bicycle in bicycle path

©Barry Sandland/TIMB – Hand-powered bicycles have brought even more disabled cyclists back to the roads

“Lost my leg four years ago on a motorbike. I used to bike a lot, and I skied. I did all that shit, so I had to do something. When in hospital, I was comatose most of the time, for about two months, and I lost about 40 to 50 pounds – all muscle, all gone. I got out of hospital with no muscle and then I gained  weight and it was a double whammy. I got into this sucker and I have 4,300 kilometres on it now in three years.” Continue reading