The ubiquitous international Brompton is taking over Brussels

©Barry Sandland/TIMB - Two Brompton cyclists with their bikes in Brussels

©Barry Sandland/TIMB- The ever-present Brompton on the streets of Brussels

“We used to live here in Brussels back in 2003 and we are back doing a small tour, just a little ride as we test the bikes for some sort of bigger tour. But now as we ride, we see Brompton’s everywhere here. Every second bike seems to be a Brompton.” 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

Go like the clappers with your recumbent

©Barry Sandland/TIMB - BArebones HP Velotechnik tricycle

©Barry Sandland/TIMB – Barebones and fast,a recumbent with style.

“Bikes, particular high speed ones with narrow tires, when they hit some rough road, they have to be very careful. This one, I can put one wheel on the gravel and it still goes along in more or less a straight line. It is very responsive. I just got this one. It is almost its second run out. Still taking the first rubber off the tire. I have ridden other recumbents. I have a couple others. But this feels like a go-cart. That is why it is difficult for me to judge the speed. You are so low down, you think you are going like the clappers.” Continue reading