Friday, May 13, 2016

Cripple Trikes

Good evening World; here is a Progress Report. I am heaps better; daily there are improvements.

The penny trike only managed to get used going round the garden: I still haven't thought up a seat for it.

Last week I attached Pixie Pedals to the white upright trike, the small pedalling circle being all that my right hip was prepared to tolerate. Nicked from a child's bicycle (sorry, child) the chainring would only accommodate a wide chain, and the white trike having a narrow one I took the angle grinder to it and five minutes later it was better behaved. Having but 28 teeth and four-inch cranks, I pedalled at the equivalent of a
170mm √∑ 4" x 28 teeth = 46.85 teeth chainring,
which was rather higher geared than I'd imagined till I came to that hill going up to the Mot Bridge. My standard 18.55 mile daily ride took two and a half hours, and on one occasion the front tyre blew out and I had to push it two miles home having omitted to bring a repair kit, thereby discovering that a trike makes quite a decent walking frame. An interesting observation was that, when pedalling a tricycle with a crutch bungeed to the crossbar, you no longer exist. Overtaking cyclists pass you without a word. Oncoming cyclists ignore your cheery wave. It's not as if I even take sugar.

Pixie pedals, on four-inch cranks

After a few days of this I clambered into the yellow trike, and was pleased to find I could pedal a rotation of its six-inch cranks, and rode off to the supermarché. There a large elderly lady accosted me -
"Where have you come from on that?"
I told her.
"Where are you going?"
I told her.
"Oh. That's a very long way. You shouldn't be going so far. You need to be careful - at least you're not weight-bearing. I've nursed a lot of patients with a broken hip."
I thanked her politely, wondering if she always offered random people in carparks free nursing advice, and what she'd do if you were to ask, say, for a gratuitous haemorrhoid massage while she was about it. Then a skinny boy of about twenty saw the trike and said "Awesome, bro!" so that cheered me up.

The yellow trike. It's a bit grubbier now. That photo must be from at least fifteen years ago.

My daily ride is now an hour and three quarters - not quite the hour it normally takes but who cares - what else would I be doing? Well yesterday it was mowing a lawn and today I mowed another, and though I was a bit lurchy and it took three times as long, I felt very proud.

And just for fun I put the original 170mm cranks back on the white trike and found I can now ride it, no bother. All we have to do is wait till I can balance and get onto two wheels.

Just as a matter of interest, I asked the consultant at Outpatients how much the steel implant cost, and found it was $1,800 and that each screw was another $100. But then thirty years ago, a broken neck-of-femur meant lying in a hospital bed for six months under traction at $700 a night. All in all, a bargain.

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