Reprinted from Ice Trikes Blog
Emily is one of our inspirational trike riders here in the UK. She rides 20″ Adventure with a powerful Shimano Steps e-assist motor. This is Emilys story.
I’m Emily and I’m an ICE trike rider. I’m a busy disabled mum of four boys. I’ve been an amputee for 10 years, the end result of serious injuries to both feet and ankles that happened over 20 years ago. Four years ago, I was also diagnosed with lupus, an autoimmune disease which affects my joints and lungs.
In August 2018, I was able to try out a recumbent trike for the first time, when my local authority (Plymouth) bought an ICE Adventure to be loaned out to disabled people. I hadn’t cycled since I was a child, I can’t balance or bend my knees well enough to ride an upright bike and I hadn’t considered cycling as an option for me. Trying the trike was a revelation! I hadn’t moved so fast under my own steam for years and the feeling of freedom was incredible. Even though I was quite unwell with a lupus flare and needing portable oxygen for my first try, I could do it!
After that first ride, I booked the trike for a month so that I could see how well it would work for me in my daily life. I had an amazing month of using it for family outings with my husband and children, school runs, hospital appointments and general boosts of joy. I was able to work on building my strength and stamina and enjoyed getting moving in a way that plays to my body’s strengths while accommodating its challenges. Having access to the trike so massively improved quality of life for me and my family that we set to work fundraising to buy one of my own.
For the past year I’ve been the proud owner of an ICE Adventure with Shimano Steps e-assist, which helps me to keep getting out cycling even when I’m unwell. I love cycling. I love being able to put our youngest in a trailer on the back of the trike and take all the boys off out through the woods, stopping for a picnic on the way. Places that were completely inaccessible for me on foot and difficult with a wheelchair have suddenly become accessible again. I have never yet gone out on my trike without getting that boost of joy that comes from moving with a different perspective on the world. There’s nothing quite like cycling along and looking up at the sky and the trees to remind me that the world is a beautiful place.
I’ve become passionate about spreading the word on these amazing machines, and the opportunities they can open up, particularly for cyclists with disabilities. If you haven’t yet tried a trike, find an opportunity and give it a go. If the cost seems out of reach (as it initially did for me) look at opportunities to apply for grants and raise funds yourself, it may well be more achievable than you think.