Freedom on a tricycle
Het Nationaal Keurmerk Hulpmiddelen (NKH) (Dutch National Hallmark for assistive devices) ran a story contest between users of assistive devices in the fall of 2016. The objective was to have them share their stories with people who could possibly benefit from the use of such a tool or device.
One of the contestants was Diederik Wierenga from Norg who cannot do without his Easy Rider tricycle since his cerebral infarction.
He did not win the competition, but would like to share his story with you.
Freedom on a tricycle
By: Diederik Wierenga
January 2010, the Easy Rider is delivered to my house. From now on I will have the freedom to move myself independently. The first time I rode this bicycle was in August 2009 at a rehabilitation center. Being able to ride a bicycle again almost gave me wings, but more importantly, it made me feel free!
‘Being able to ride a bicycle after my cerebral infarction almost gave me wings.’
The first few meters on the tricycle, after it had been delivered to my house, were disappointing. It had been a couple of months since I had last ridden my bicycle, but I was still a little shocked. After having ridden my tricycle a couple of times it still did not go as well as I had hoped back in August.
January - winter and cold do not do me any good – after a check-up at the hospital my occupational therapist and I decided to equip the Easy Rider with electric pedal support. As soon as the tricycle returned to my house I went for a bike ride. Wow, this did go well! The engine had to pull hard, but I was able to cycle effortlessly.
'I enjoyed cycling again. From that moment on I started to cycle more.'
I enjoyed cycling again. From that moment on I started to cycle more. Not very far at first, more like to the store and back. In 2011 I moved to Norg. What’s the best way to explore a new town? On a bicycle of course! In the beginning I would go for 5 km rides, but I went farther and farther every time thereafter. At a certain point the maximum distance I cycled was equal to the range of the battery.
The Easy Rider allows me to simply sit down and let my legs move the pedals. Because of my balance problems I am not able to sit on a regular saddle, let alone ride a bicycle with two wheels. The Easy Rider’s three wheels enable me to sit up straight. I enjoy riding my tricycle, but I love seeing my stamina improve slowly. I even believe a few bodily functions have improved because I have been riding the Easy Rider. Suddenly I was able to run and write with my right hand again.
'Exercising makes me happy, the Easy Rider has certainly helped me in this!'
Exercising is of utmost importance when it comes to improving yourself. People with an acquired brain injury (IBA) are often unable to exercise, but special tools can help them. The Easy Rider tricycle is so much more to me than a tool. It has added meaning to my life and given me a sense of freedom. Despite my disabilities I am able to participate in society and do not stay at home. Exercising makes me happy, the Easy Rider has certainly helped me in this.
Get to know more about Diederik and his tricycle
We have been following Diederik and his Easy Rider tricycle for a few years now. Find out more about him in these articles:
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