Cycling is a recreational and competitive activity that allows individuals to obtain a cardiovascular workout while strengthening corresponding muscle groups. Cycling can be accomplished using either the upper or lower extremities. It is also an activity that can be done indoors or outdoors. Cycling is an official sport of Disabled Sports USA (DSUSA), Special Olympics International (SOI), the United States Association of Blind Athletes (USABA), the United States Deaf Sports Federation (USADSF), and the United States Cerebral Palsy Athletic Association (USCPAA). Competitive handcycling is governed by the United States Handcycling Federation (USHF).
Each of the Disabled Sports Organizations listed above work cooperatively with USA Cycling to develop cycling opportunities throughout the U.S. Events range from 400 meter junior races offered by USCPAA to 40 kilometer road races offered by DSUSA and USABA.
Arm driven bicycles and attachments:
Bicycles provide the action of a bicycle without the stability of a tricycle. The Handbike by Mobility Engineering (pictured left) provides more mobility than a tricycle and has casters that can be raised once a comfortable momentum has been reached. Hand cycling attachments are connected directly to a wheelchair.
Arm driven tricycles: The Superbike by Freedom Ryder is a racing hand bike. The Excelerator by Invacare-Top End is more of a recreational bike that can also tow a wheelchair. Both bikes provide arm cycling opportunities for individuals that require the stability of a tricycle.
The Montage by Just Two Bikes (pictured left) is a dual recumbent, four wheel cycle that provides a relaxed seating position for lower extremity cycling. The Side-by-Side Adult Trike distributed by Flaghouse (above) allows two individuals to cycle simultaneously, one at a time, or at different rates.
Tandem cycling opportunities are available for individuals with various disabilities. The "pilot" or front rider is usually non-disabled. Racing tandems are used by visually impaired and blind athletes in competition.
The Duet Cycle distributed by Flaghouse provides the a cycling experience for individuals who are not able to cycle themselves. The front portion also detaches and is a functional wheelchair. The Therapeutic Tricycle also distributed by Flaghouse supports the rider with a back brace and waist belt and the cycling is done with a walk-like motion.
Ergometers like the Saratoga Cycle by Saratoga Access & Fitness and stationary cycles like the Life Cycle 9100R by Life Fitness provide an indoor version of cycling and are some of the most popular exercises done by individuals with disabilities.
Helmets should always be used when cycling outdoors. It is also important that they are worn properly to prevent head injury. There are several state and national programs that sell helmets at discount prices. Contact the National SAFE KIDS Campaign.
Flaghouse (Duet, and others), (800)793-7900
Freedom Ryder (Superbike), (800)991-2790
Invacare-Top End (Excelerator Series), (800)333-6900
Just Two Bikes (Montage), (800)499-1548
Life Fitness (Life Cycle 9100R), (800)328-9714
Lightning Hancycles, (888)426-3292
Saratoga Access & Fitness, (800)474-4010
FOR MORE INFORMATION
USA Cycling, (719)578-4581
USADSF, (801)393-7916 (TTY)
SAFE KIDS Campaign, (202)662-0600