CYCLING WITH YOUR OWN MUSCLES, DESPITE A CONDITION

Paul de Jagher

Paul de Jagher – Post-thrombotic syndrome

My name is Paul de Jagher, I’m 38 years old. In 2004, I got thrombosis in my right leg, which resulted in the post-thrombotic syndrome. One of the impediments is that I can’t ride a normal bike. Within a couple hundred meters my right leg is painful and tired. Before the thrombosis, I could cycle within half a day from Rotterdam to Amsterdam.

Learning about the BerkelBike

An electric bike only has benefits for me on short distances. First, I thought about a normal hand bike, but an important disadvantage is that my legs were positioned downwards in the wheelchair and didn’t move at all. This is not good for the blood flow in my right leg.

Next, I thought about a recumbent bike, driven by my arms. My legs were on the same height as the seat, but still they were passive.

At the Support Beurs in Utrecht (2010), I cycled on the BerkelBike, originally designed for spinal cord injury patients. This was very satisfying. Hereafter, I made an appointment for a longer test ride.

Making a decision

Finally I chose the BerkelBike Connect, which  I can connect to my wheelchair. In the meantime, I have cycled many miles, and even took the bike with me on vacations (sometimes by plane) to Dublin/Belfast en Berlijn.

During transportation, I wrap vulnerable parts in plastic foil and then everything goes in blankets. At the airports, they are very careful with my bike. I have noticed that I particularly drive the bike with my arms, and that my legs move actively with less power. When my leg hurts, I stop for a moment and let my leg rest.

The benefits of a BerkelBike

At the museum and churches that I have visited, I could disconnect and park the bike-part and continue with the wheelchair alone. Due to the BerkelBike, I am now very mobile, it is sportive/therapeutic, and I can achieve way more.

The advantage of this bike for me is that the legs have a higher position than on normal bikes. The bike can be driven by arms or legs or both. When driven by arms, the pedals follow the movement, and the legs are moving. This stimulates the blood flow in my legs, which is good.

Paul de Jagher

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