TADSA first assisted client Aidan (pictured below) when he was about five years old. Aidan was born with phocomelia major, a rare malformation of the limbs. At that time, Aidan had a bike which needed modifications to allow him to ride. This was many years before the Freedom Wheels modified bike program was developed. Aidan’s bike was modified with extended handle bars.
In 2010 when Aidan was a teenager he needed another bike and this time Freedom Wheels was available in South Australia. Apart from the Freedom Wheels prefabricated accessories, Aidan’s next bike had specially built handle bars and the right hand pedal was extended out so that his ankle would not hit the chain guard. TADSA Volunteer Tony Scully undertook these modifications.
Aidan, who is now an adult and studying to be a special school teacher, is also captain of the No Handicap Golf Club (TADSA modified a golf bag for Aidan). His latest bike request was for a recumbent bike (a bicycle that places the rider in a laid-back reclining position).TADSA had never attempted this type of bike before but TADSA Volunteer Des Chabrel stepped up.
Des says “This recumbent trike came to me in mid 2017. It was ex Pedal Prix and had endured a hard life. All of the streamlining and most of the brackets had already been taken off and it was my task to modify it to suit Aidan’s ability so that he could safely ride it on the local paths.
I first gave it a thorough service, renewing all pivots and king-pins and re-greasing all the bearings. I changed all the sprockets to reduce the gearing from a very high 270 suited to the Pedal Prix down to a 70 which is much more manageable around a park.
The tiller steering was converted from two tillers to one only on the right hand side.
The rear wheel was changed from three speed gears to a fixed wheel to enable the trike to be pedalled backwards if necessary to make a turn.
The brake system was completely altered with a splitter under the seat so that the brakes on all three wheels could be operated at once using a lever from a walker which also doubled as a parking brake.
For safety I added tail lights, reflectors and a safety flag.I also reinforced the roll-over bar and added a side impact protection bar on the right hand side.
These changes were carried out over a period of 18 months with a couple of visits and subsequent small modifications. Aidan said he was happy with the changes and looked forward to riding on the local park system.
The project was a low priority for Aidan because he had other interests (like golf) and this meant I could fit it in around other TAD projects and also take my time solving some of the challenges.”
The images below show the steering/brake lever and the front end of the bike
TADSA YouTube channel
You can see a short video of Aidan riding his recumbent bike, plus other TADSA videos at our YouTube channel