Adaptive Cycling

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Two basic types of Bikes for Students with Disabilities (SWD’s)

The first type of bike is the Hand-Crank

  • Used mainly for people with no use of their legs: Paraplegics, quads, amputees, etc.
  • A person sits on the bike and uses their hands to force the pedals around - which spin the wheels.
  • The person uses the lean technology to steer.
  • To brake, the cyclist uses the breaks which are on the handle bars or on the pedal shaft.
  • BYU-Idaho owns two Hand Crank Cycles.

The second type of bike is the Recumbent

  • These bikes are used with people with limited mobility: Spina Diffida, Cerbral Palsy, Broken wrists, stroke victims etc.
  • The cyclist rides this bike by sitting down and pedaling with their feet. The steering can be done with little effort.
  • These bikes are either Trikes or Quads.

What Makes a Good Path?

There are FIVE factors to consider when choosing a path to take Students with Disabliities out on:

  • Paved- These bikes were not made for off-roading. The path must be paved and well kept. There shouldn’t be brush or debri on the paved path.
  • Width- The trail needs to be wide enough for the bikes you are taking. Some trails are foot trails and cannot even handle the Raven in width.
  • Traffic- Your paths should be somewhat desolate. The lower the number of people and automobile traffic, the better it is for the cyclist.
  • Mileage-how much time do you have to ride? How energetic are the people you are traveling with? There are many trails. Some are short and some are long. Take your mileage into consideration when choosing a path.
  • The Cyclist- What is the experience of your cyclist? Could they handle a hard path? What about slopes, hills, or climbs? Remember that it is called Adaptive Cycling for a reason and should take into consideration the capacity of the cyclist.

Where can I go on an Adaptive Cycle?

First off - you can go pretty much anywhere there is pavement. Small towns, old country roads and city parks are an excellent start. Just make sure it is paved and you're setting yourself up for a fun time.