Why do FA patients ride trikes?
I am sure you have noticed that a lot of my pictures for RideATAXIA are of me on a recumbent trike. Wonder why? Well the answer is quite simple – because I have Friedreich’s Ataxia (FA).
Most FA patients experience a lack of coordination that makes balancing difficult. In fact, my thrown-off balance is what made me visit a neurologist in the first place. My legs just didn’t cooperate like they used to and I was tripping and stumbling a lot more than I had a few years ago.
When a non-FA patient does simple activities like riding a bike, you don’t necessarily realize how much balance it takes. Next time you hop on a bike, pay attention to what your body does. You can shift and lean certain ways to make your body stay on the bike and propel it forward. As an FA patient, I can’t make my body cooperate like that.
With a trike, I am in a comfortable bucket seat that doesn’t require me to balance, so I can concentrate my physical efforts on pedaling instead of trying to stay upright. Another benefit of riding a trike versus a standard 2-wheel bicycle is that third wheel that offers extra support and stability.
The founder of RideATAXIA, Kyle Bryant, describes it perfectly in his interview with Tampa Bay Buccaneers player Ronde Barber. Watch the video here.
Riding a trike is truly liberating. Not having to worry about falling or tripping while being active and exercising is a blessing that I no longer take for granted. I have affectionately named my trike Tina, and Tina and I are ready for the upcoming RideATAXIA! I hope you will join us on April 12th in Dallas!