Darkside Trikes and Old Age, Disability, Etc.



A

Artemisia

Guest
As I stated in another thread, I'm contemplating falling for a
Darkside trike. Unfortunately, I'm also finding myself drawn to the
upper ends of the price scale, especially by the Greenspeed GTO+ which
costs more than a lot of cars. I may not be able to justify this
expense on the basis of immediate utility.

So I'm telling myself that this will be an investment that can be
expected to last for the rest of my life. See, I turned 51 at the
beginning of July, and passed a vacation with my family - my father
will be 86 this fall. He's still pretty active but it was nevertheless
heartbreaking to see him so old and transparent, when I remember him
all vitality and beauty. It got me thinking much about old age and
decline and the ravages of time. There have been threads in this forum
about people hanging up their bikes as they get too old to cycle. And
there have been some shocking cases affecting younger people -
Multiple Sclerosis, stroke, etc.

I read a thread somewhere on Greenspeed trikes used in the rehab of
people who have been paralized by stroke. I also read Sheldon Brown's
moving account of the progress of his illness, and was impressed that
of all his bikes, the only one he could still use was the Greenspeed
GT3.

I have lived for many years in terror of being diagnosed with Multiple
Sclerosis or associated diseases. I have so many of the precursor
symptoms, particularly the balance problems. As for stroke, it felled
practically everyone on my mother's side of the family. My mother's
father was younger than me when he abruptly fell dead into his lunch
(way to go, I say - I adore pasta). I'm fat and asthmatic and pretty
much a goner for stroke. But even if I manage to evade these
debilitating demons, there's still the one that no one can evade,
Time, the Grim Reaper.

So I couldn't argue for investing in another _bike_. It's getting
late. My biking days may not go on that much longer. But that Darkside
trike - is there any limit as to how long one can ride it, given only
that one has enough motor ability to get into it and move the pedals?
Can very old people continue to ride such a thing indefinitely? If so,
why don't they? Why do we hear of elderly cyclists hanging up their
bikes with regret? What about MS?

And can it also be expected to last indefinitely, unlike a car that
dies after a decade or two? What if I go on for another forty years -
it's not likely, but a paternal great-aunt did live to 104. Will the
trike survive me?

Strange questions to put to these forums, no doubt, since if you're
here it's because you're all still alive and kicking. And of course no
one likes to think about these sad things, and it's ridiculous, and
possibly unlucky, to be thinking about death and disintegration when
one is in blooming health. But this investment may affect the whole
pattern of my retirement years. My dream is to cycle the planet, at
least the good parts of it, before I die (or before _it_ dies, at the
rate we're killing it). As Yourcenar said, il faut faire le tour de sa
prison.

Cheers nevertheless,
EFR
Ile de France
 
D

Dave Larrington

Guest
In news:[email protected],
Artemisia <[email protected]> tweaked the Babbage-Engine to tell us:

> So I couldn't argue for investing in another _bike_. It's getting
> late. My biking days may not go on that much longer. But that Darkside
> trike - is there any limit as to how long one can ride it, given only
> that one has enough motor ability to get into it and move the pedals?



The late Ron Beams continued to ride a variety of recumbent trikes well into
his 90's, though he did go for electric assist eventually.

--
Dave Larrington
<http://www.legslarry.beerdrinkers.co.uk>
Where's the gin?
 
P

Peter Clinch

Guest
Artemisia wrote:

> Can very old people continue to ride such a thing indefinitely? If so,
> why don't they?


Who says they don't? I know of quite a few elderly cyclists. One who's
*well* past retirement can show me a clean pair of heels without seeming
to even try!

> Why do we hear of elderly cyclists hanging up their
> bikes with regret? What about MS?


Ultimately people slow down and it's maybe too much trouble to keep on.
That's life. But they tend to give up cycling rather after giving up
running, squash, football etc.

> And can it also be expected to last indefinitely, unlike a car that
> dies after a decade or two? What if I go on for another forty years -
> it's not likely, but a paternal great-aunt did live to 104. Will the
> trike survive me?


If it's looked after the frame should be good for decades. All the
running gear will need to be replaced as it wears out, just as any other
mechanical device, but that shouldn't be a problem.

Pete.
--
Peter Clinch Medical Physics IT Officer
Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Univ. of Dundee, Ninewells Hospital
Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK
net [email protected] http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/
 
A

Adrian Godwin

Guest
Artemisia <[email protected]> wrote:

> And can it also be expected to last indefinitely, unlike a car that
> dies after a decade or two? What if I go on for another forty years -
> it's not likely, but a paternal great-aunt did live to 104. Will the
> trike survive me?
>


Which would be worse - the trike outlasting you or you outlasting the
trike ? Buy it now if you can afford it - the longer you have it the
more pleasure it will give you.

-adrian
 
T

Trevor A Panther

Guest
"Artemisia" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]
> As I stated in another thread, I'm contemplating falling for a
> Darkside trike. Unfortunately, I'm also finding myself drawn to the
> upper ends of the price scale, especially by the Greenspeed GTO+ which
> costs more than a lot of cars. I may not be able to justify this
> expense on the basis of immediate utility.
>
> So I'm telling myself that this will be an investment that can be
> expected to last for the rest of my life. See, I turned 51 at the
> beginning of July, and passed a vacation with my family - my father
> will be 86 this fall. He's still pretty active but it was nevertheless
> heartbreaking to see him so old and transparent,


<snipped to save space>

>
> Strange questions to put to these forums, no doubt, since if you're
> here it's because you're all still alive and kicking. And of course no
> one likes to think about these sad things, and it's ridiculous, and
> possibly unlucky, to be thinking about death and disintegration when
> one is in blooming health. But this investment may affect the whole
> pattern of my retirement years. My dream is to cycle the planet, at
> least the good parts of it, before I die (or before _it_ dies, at the
> rate we're killing it). As Yourcenar said, il faut faire le tour de sa
> prison.
>
> Cheers nevertheless,
> EFR
> Ile de France
>

Hey I just celebrated my 70 birthday by the Lac de Panthier north of Beaune.
Cycled a leisurely trip from Nemours to Narbonne.

If I were 10 years younger I would certainly attempt to cycle the planet. And
I am still toying with the idea of doing a long distance camping wander
across USA spending about 5 months doing it ( but the costs are ginormous)

7 years ago I weighed in at 120 kgs and waddled around like an over weight
Gander!

I reduced my weight to about 92 kgs in a year and then took up cycling as a
one of event to cycle to Santiago de Compostela.

I'm still on my bike ( my third one now) and although this year my weight is
up ( I at 91 kg after my tour) it will now continue down a bit more over the
"summer"

At 51 you have got the potential of another 40 years of life. My dad is still
alive at 100 and still goes out daily and enjoys life!

I very nearly bought a Trice QNT last September but I fell out with the
manufacturers -- but I still am interested in a recumbent trike. But they
are expensive to put on the road and do have their limitations.

I bought my Thorn Raven Tour instead of the Trice and I am glad I did because
it is used every day without fail and I have done over 2500 miles on it this
year. My Thorn all up cost was £2200 but the on the road ( for camping
touring) cost for the QNT would have been £500 more than that

The trike presents problems of storage for me and many of the routes I use
frequently ( tracks off road) are unavailable for a trike due to gate and
other hazards. Transporting them by train is nigh impossible and the folding
versions are hardly designed to ease that problem -- OK if you are going to
put it in a car!

But It is likely that I shall get me a trike of some kind and I continue to
scan of the net to look at what's available. I have been looking at the
Scorpion Fx --But they are expensive and it may well be necessary to buy a
used model.

Anyway ---

Don't give up I am a type 2 diabetic, I have been diagnosed with a heart
murmur ( "a defective aortic valve") but have been told I should survive
another 20 years if I don't get knocked off my bike again!

Life is good!


--
Trevor A Panther
In South Yorkshire,
England, United Kingdom.
www.tapan.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk
 
A

Alan Braggins

Guest
In article <[email protected]>, Artemisia wrote:
>trike - is there any limit as to how long one can ride it, given only
>that one has enough motor ability to get into it and move the pedals?


Some people do find getting into and out of low trikes tricky. If that's
likely to be a problem, you might want to consider a delta like the
Hase Kettwiesel or new Greenspeed Anura, or a relatively upright tadpole
like the Anthrotech.
(But a low trike will corner faster without tipping, and be more
aerodynamic, so it's a tradeoff.)

http://www.greenspeed.com.au/anura_main.html
"Many of our customers asked for a delta trike that would enable
easy entry and exit, a higher viewing position"

http://www.greenspeed.com.au/anura_history.html
"We have been aware for some time that there is a demand for a high quality,
user friendly, recreational trike for older and handicapped riders, who
are unable to get up and down from our low trikes, and from people who
would like to ride higher in traffic."
 
P

Peter Fox

Guest
Artemisia wrote:
> As I stated in another thread, I'm contemplating falling for a
> Darkside trike. Unfortunately, I'm also finding myself drawn to the
> upper ends of the price scale, especially by the Greenspeed GTO+ which
> costs more than a lot of cars. I may not be able to justify this
> expense on the basis of immediate utility.


• The 'value' of something _to you_ is only a meaningful concept in terms of the 'value'
_to you_ of the alternatives.

• Now consider say trying to 'justify' a new television. Impossible.

• But there are well-known 'value-for-money' comparisons that can be made between makes
and models based on group experience. For example "you don't need high-spec X but taking
a short cut with a cheap Y is a false economy".

• If I read between your lines correctly you're concerned with health, then of course on
it's own a sparkly new toy isn't the answer...
....except as a carrot and hostage to fortune. For example (just for example) you might
say "When I've lost a stone then that's £500 put aside for my sparkly new toy" and "When
I've done 700 miles in a month that's another £500" and "When I get my new toy I'm going
to join the local club and go out at least 3 times a month with them" and "When I get my
new toy I'm going to do a tour of Ireland on it during the first summer". You can see how
these targets help you to drive your lifestyle along the lines you want it to go.



--
Peter Fox
Not the same without my auto-sig program
Beer, dancing, cycling and lots more at www.eminent.demon.co.uk
 
On 19 Jul, 08:31, Artemisia <[email protected]> wrote:
> But this investment may affect the whole
> pattern of my retirement years. My dream is to cycle the planet, at
> least the good parts of it, before I die (or before _it_ dies, at the
> rate we're killing it). As Yourcenar said, il faut faire le tour de sa
> prison.


When I read things by older people reflecting on their lives, their
regrets are rarely things they did, only things they didn't do, or
things they wished they'd starting doing earlier. The only reasons not
to go ahead seem to me to be either that you really can't afford it
(which sounds unlikely, because your reservations are about justifying
the cost to yourself); or because it's a dream of something you'd like
to do which deep down you know you won't - you see loads of "hardly
used" bikes for sale, bought in the hope of "getting fitter". But as
it sounds like you get out quite a bit on whatever bike you currently
have, I don't think this applies to you. If the trike suits you
better, you'd probably get out more, have more fun, etc, which is
great.

Go for it, I say. Good luck with choosing the right one for you.

Rob
 
L

Luigi de Guzman

Guest
On Thu, 19 Jul 2007 00:31:18 -0700, Artemisia wrote:

> So I couldn't argue for investing in another _bike_. It's getting
> late. My biking days may not go on that much longer. But that Darkside
> trike - is there any limit as to how long one can ride it, given only
> that one has enough motor ability to get into it and move the pedals?
> Can very old people continue to ride such a thing indefinitely? If so,
> why don't they? Why do we hear of elderly cyclists hanging up their
> bikes with regret? What about MS?


I wouldn't worry, if I were you. If you're reasonably fit and competent,
you can keep on a regular two-wheeler for a good long time. I'm
twenty-six and am constantly being *crushed* by cyclists twice my
age--they ride faster, harder, farther, and more efficiently. I don't
think their age bothers them at all--or if it does, they sure as hell
don't let me know about it.

<snip meditations on impermanence>

How's your Latin? Remember Horace? Carmen I.xi:

Tu ne quaesieris--scire nefas--quem mihi, quem tibi
Finem di dederint, Leuconoe, nec Babylonios
Temptaris numeros. Ut melius, quicquid erit pati!
Seu pluris hiemes seu tribuit Juppiter ultimam,
Quae nunc oppositis debilitat pumicibus mare
Tyrrhenum. Sapias, vina liques, et, spatio brevi,
Spem longam resces. Dum loquimur, fugerit invidia
Aetas: carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero.

Which my old schoolboy Latin rendered into:

"Don't ask--you know it's unlucky-- what ends for you, for me
The Gods intend, Leuconoe, nor consult Babylonian numbers.
Better instead suffer whatever will be!
Perhaps Jupiter's granted you many winters, or maybe this is your last
Which now exhausts itself on the cliffs of the Tyrrhenian sea.
Be wise, pour out the wine, and, for a brief moment,
Forget about your far-off hopes. While we've been speaking,
Envious time's been flying by--
Seize the day, believing as little as possible in what follows."

-Luigi

--
Luigi de Guzman
http://ouij.livejournal.com
 
In rec.bicycles.misc Artemisia <[email protected]> wrote:
> As I stated in another thread, I'm contemplating falling for a
> Darkside trike. Unfortunately, I'm also finding myself drawn to the
> upper ends of the price scale, especially by the Greenspeed GTO+ which
> costs more than a lot of cars. I may not be able to justify this
> expense on the basis of immediate utility.


> So I'm telling myself that this will be an investment that can be
> expected to last for the rest of my life. See, I turned 51 at the
> beginning of July, and passed a vacation with my family - my father
> will be 86 this fall. He's still pretty active but it was nevertheless
> heartbreaking to see him so old and transparent, when I remember him
> all vitality and beauty. It got me thinking much about old age and
> decline and the ravages of time. There have been threads in this forum
> about people hanging up their bikes as they get too old to cycle. And
> there have been some shocking cases affecting younger people -
> Multiple Sclerosis, stroke, etc.


> I read a thread somewhere on Greenspeed trikes used in the rehab of
> people who have been paralized by stroke. I also read Sheldon Brown's
> moving account of the progress of his illness, and was impressed that
> of all his bikes, the only one he could still use was the Greenspeed
> GT3.


> I have lived for many years in terror of being diagnosed with Multiple
> Sclerosis or associated diseases. I have so many of the precursor
> symptoms, particularly the balance problems. As for stroke, it felled
> practically everyone on my mother's side of the family. My mother's
> father was younger than me when he abruptly fell dead into his lunch
> (way to go, I say - I adore pasta). I'm fat and asthmatic and pretty
> much a goner for stroke. But even if I manage to evade these
> debilitating demons, there's still the one that no one can evade,
> Time, the Grim Reaper.


> So I couldn't argue for investing in another _bike_. It's getting >

late. My biking days may not go on that much longer. But that Darkside >
trike - is there any limit as to how long one can ride it, given only >
that one has enough motor ability to get into it and move the pedals? >
Can very old people continue to ride such a thing indefinitely? If so, >
why don't they? Why do we hear of elderly cyclists hanging up their >
bikes with regret? What about MS?

Some people I've heard about on this NG who have MS ride bikes as part
of their therapy, to good effect.
My daughter, who has MS, rides a little and walks a lot, and to date is
doing well.
About a month ago (already?!) I and about 2900 of my closest friends
rode in the local MS-150. There were several 'bent trikes in the event.
One gentleman in particular was camped near me, and I happened to see him
dismount his trike as I walked by his campsite. Step One was to untie his
feet from the pedals; Step Two was to shift himself over from his trike to
his wheelchair.
Incidentally, I saw this gentleman the next day at the second rest stop
on the course, about 22 miles into the ride. I believe he SAGged back
to the start from there, but it was pretty plain that, as the saying in
the MS community goes, "He has MS, but MS doesn't have him." Most of the
credit for his performance goes to him and his great personal courage, but
a little has to go to his trike too.


Bill


__o | Nothing that you do for children
_`\(,_ | is ever wasted.
(_)/ (_) | --Garrison Keillor
 
S

Simon Brooke

Guest
in message <[email protected]>,
Artemisia ('[email protected]') wrote:

> As I stated in another thread, I'm contemplating falling for a
> Darkside trike. Unfortunately, I'm also finding myself drawn to the
> upper ends of the price scale, especially by the Greenspeed GTO+ which
> costs more than a lot of cars. I may not be able to justify this
> expense on the basis of immediate utility.
>
> So I'm telling myself that this will be an investment that can be
> expected to last for the rest of my life. See, I turned 51 at the
> beginning of July, and passed a vacation with my family - my father
> will be 86 this fall. He's still pretty active but it was nevertheless
> heartbreaking to see him so old and transparent, when I remember him
> all vitality and beauty. It got me thinking much about old age and
> decline and the ravages of time. There have been threads in this forum
> about people hanging up their bikes as they get too old to cycle. And
> there have been some shocking cases affecting younger people -
> Multiple Sclerosis, stroke, etc.


OK, start at the top. When I was a research fellow at Lancaster I used to
have a friend who cycled into town every day from his home eight miles
away, and cycled home again. He wasn't very fast but at 96 that wasn't
surprising. I've a friend now who cycled from John O' Groats to the Mull
of Galloway last year (a matter of 400 miles), but he's only 87. My own
father carried on cycling until he died, at 75. I've known plenty of
people in their seventies and eighties who could cycle faster, or further,
or both, than I can.

Old age is no barrier to cycling. Infirmity is a barrier to cycling, but
taking regular exercise is the best way to keep infirmity at bay. It's
good for you at any age, but the older you get the greater the benefit -
in physical condition and in mental alertness.

Somewhere on the back road between Carsphairn and Dalry there's a little
roadside shrine to a cyclist who died there, of old age, out on his bike
on a sunny day. That is not a bad way to go - indeed, given the choice,
that would be one of my preferred ways to go. I have a personal horror of
dying in hospital, as both my parents did.

So I've no plans to hang up my bikes - ever.

However. One of the things which can happen - which tends to happen - in
old age is that balance deteriorates. Deteriorating balance might
eventually render a bicycle impossible; and at that point a tadpole
trike - probably with a reasonably upright seat, like an Anthrotech -
seems a very good solution. An old person's armchair, with exercise.

--
[email protected] (Simon Brooke) http://www.jasmine.org.uk/~simon/

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