Paul from Adapt-e is one of our amazing ICE trike dealers based in Cheshire here in the UK. Adapt-e specialises in finding disabled and adaptive customers the best riding solution for their needs. This is Pauls story.
I was enjoying an active outdoor sporting life, sailing, skiing, mountain biking and climbing, planning new adventures and looking forward to a very active retirement, all of which came to an abrupt stop when I suffered a shattered femur December 2014. This was the result of an Osteosarcoma Cancer that had quietly developed undetected over a number of years. The end result was a high level amputation of my right leg and some heavy duty chemotherapy. Happily I survived.
It takes a frustrating amount of time to adjust to such a life changing situation, but adopting a survivor attitude rather than a victim attitude at the outset, goes a long way in how well you are able to positively rebuild your life, and for that matter how others interact with you and your trauma.
My first challenge post amputation was to get mobile and regain some freedom and independence. Being sat in a hospital bed is depressing, and only fuels negative frustration with thoughts of what you can’t do not what you can do. The amputation itself strangely wasn’t that bad, boof there one minute gone the next. What caused me more of an issue was the extreme fatigue as an effect of chemotherapy, every physical excursion was a massive effort.
My first piece of mobility equipment was a wheelchair and crutches, not ideal as it really had the effect of making me feel double disabled, what I really wanted to find was something that would give me a positive mind set and get me out and about, something that would make me feel more normal, something I could use with my family and friends, so the torturous hunt began.
A power attachment for my wheelchair was the first purchase, a tick for mobility, but not so good for my physical fitness, far too sedentary. I quickly saw the limitation so moved on the a Mountain Trike, a lever driven Wheelchair, billed as an All Terrain Wheelchair, it was certainly a capable piece of equipment but I quickly discovered you had to have arms the size of Popeye to go any distance, and with the hangover of fatigue from the chemotherapy meant the distance I need to travel to keep up with my mates wasn’t possible, so it just didn’t do it for me.
Enter ICE Trikes, by chance I met a friend who introduced me to an ICE Trike, this was two years post amputation, I sat in the seat of an old ICE Adventure, I could immediately see the potential. The trike was a manual version but my friend felt sure electric assist was available. I was totally sold.
Finding an ICE dealer at that time wasn’t so easy, but I eventually managed to find a dealer with a secondhand trike with electric assist so a sale was made. I quickly found however a number of gearing modifications where needed to allow me to ride the hills where I lived. It became clear that I hadn’t done enough research and hadn’t been asked enough questions by the dealer at the outset to get the most suitable trike. Not an insurmountable problem but a recurring theme ,the same frustration in all my equipment quest from the time of my amputation. I’d spent a lot of money buying and selling kit that wasn't right , a very costly learned experience.
Neil Selwood at ICE HQ very kindly helped me re-gear the ICE Adventure trike which now met my every aspiration, it would climb up anything. An adaptive ambassador relationship developed with the ICE Trike company, with me attending a number of shows and events ICE had organised. It soon became clear to me that I had a lot to offer ICE clients who had an adaptive need because I could empathise more readily with their medical conditions, after all “if he can ride a trike with one leg what’s stopping me”. I also had no problem talking about the highs and lows of clients' conditions so rather than selling a trike I was finding a solution to a problem, which it a totally different approach.
So with the help of Drew and the rest of the team at ICE I set up Adapt-e in 2019. A bespoke ICE Trike advice and demonstration service, to help clients find the best possible trike solution to meet an individuals need. We work from our home base in Cheshire but travel all over the country supporting individual clients and promoting recumbent trikes into the medical professional arena.
Electric assist is an absolute game-changer for ICE clients with an adaptive cycling need. Trikes can be custom configured with a whole host of factory option adaptions. That said in my view it's the advice of a learned experience that is the most valuable to clients. Our mission at Adapt-e is to ensure that the configuration of a trike exceeds every aspiration and seriously raises the potential adventure horizon that our clients have to look forward too.
Recovering a sense of normality, riding out with friends and family, experiencing greater independence and freedom, only a recumbent trike could bring this to the party. It’s not a trike it's a solution. Trike Smiles RuS.
For more information: Visit www.adapt-e.co.uk
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