I had to walk to the gym today as I’ve busted the little plastic thing on my trike that holds the chain tube in place – again. It’s a recumbent trike and I have to haul it sideways to get it in the front door. Stagger stagger crunch…
So it was a lovely sunny day & I trundled off with my walker. Not too bad going but on the way back I felt so slows and decrepit. Freeze freeze trip.
When I started to lose my balance I gave away my two-wheeler & got a big Pashley Tricycle with a shopping basket on the back. However I did notice I had trouble pedalling sometimes, not sure if that was freezing or what. My right arm would get pretty stiff and sore sometimes too and with the dyskinesias it didn’t like staying in one place – on the handlebars.
It was great for a few years until I fell off in the road so I gave it away and joined the gym. I was managing the stationary bikes with no problem.
Then I bought a second haND recumbent. It paid for itself in less than a YEAR as I took far fewer caBS FOR
Local journeys and for a few years cancelled my gym membership.
The position of the steering with arms down by side is very comfortable for me. I start flailing around a bit if the lights take too long to change. Can’t turn my head ( because of stiff neck & trun)k for a quick look over my shoulder so when I want to turn I will go into a side street so I can see the traffic in the main road. The sitting position means you are leaning back - this aggravates my retrocolis (neck jerking back) a bit but people just think I am nodding hello at them and they smile and nod back.
Below is a. clip of a lady with Parkinson’s riding a recumbent trike - Hase Kettwiesel (same as mine). It’s true what she says about getting your life back. I feel pretty normal on my trike & people are looking at the trike, not me.
Cycling also gives me great relief from akathisia (inability to sit still) when I have spent the morning trying to sit at my desk.
The best thing of course is in the summer when it is easy to steer with one hand and have an ice-cream in the other.
Cycling for freezing of gait. Snijders AH, Bloem BR. N Engl J Med. 2010 April 1, 2010
A 58-year-old man with a 10-year history of idiopathic Parkinson’s disease presented with an incapacitating freezing of gait. The patient had severe difficulties initiating gait and was able to take only a few shuffling steps when provided with a visual cue (the examiner’s foot placed in front of the patient). Attempts to walk evolved rapidly into forward festination and ultimately a fall to the ground. Axial turning was impossible.
However, the patient’s ability to ride a bicycle was remarkably preserved. Gait freezing recurred instantaneously after he dismounted the bicycle.
This striking kinesia paradoxica may be explained by the bicycle’s rotating pedals, which may act as an external pacing cue.
Alternatively, the motor-control mechanisms involved in gait as compared with other activities engaging the legs, such as cycling, could be affected differentially in Parkinson’s disease.
Cycling may offer a useful approach for exercise training in patients with Parkinson’s who are “grounded” by severe freezing of gait.