I am a disabled cyclist and rode a Varna recumbent hand cycle for many years. It was a very important part of my life. Then, due to having a failed knee replacement removed and a rod put in my leg, it was left unused as I unable to bend my leg at all. I found steering my bike was impossible around corners, as you need to flex your knee to do this, which meant I was no longer able to ride my bike. This was quite a calamity and I missed cycling enormously.

I happened to mention this to the dietician I was seeing and she got on to my occupational therapist who then contacted the charity REMAP (Mid Staffordshire Panel in my case). REMAP is an organisation that makes custom made equipment for disabled people that cannot be bought through the general market place.

An appointment was made to see me at home with the O T, Remap engineer, and the hand cycle. I explained the problems. After a few weeks the Remap engineer returned having made a brilliant wind up seat so that I could get on again with help. In addition, he made a fantastic, suspended bars, modification that moved when steering around corners so I did not get my foot and leg trapped in the front wheel.

I was very, very pleased and got on my bike with help immediately. OH HOW WONDERFUL IT WAS TO RIDE AGAIN!!! The FREEDOM I felt as I rode, leaving thoughts of my disability behind for a while. I had a smile on my face from ear to ear. I thought I would never be able to ride again ever, but thanks to the Remap engineer's brilliant modification I was on my bike once more after 7 years of not riding it. I tried it several times to make sure it was right for me with several small adjustments.

Finally, the engineer contacted me again to say it could be painted red to match the colour of my bike. That was the icing on the cake as they say for me; I was so very, very pleased. So the moral of my story is NEVER give up there are ways and means to get around anything.

REMAP'S web site is at www.remap.org.uk


(C) 2014 Pauline Udall