Handbiking: The thrill of speed
Handbikes are simply bicycles that are connected to a wheelchair and operated using your hands. Sports models and special racing bikes are capable of reaching speeds of 50km/hour or more in road races.
Handbiking is healthy. It boosts the circulation and muscles - not just the muscles in your arms. For many wheelchair sportspeople who have had problems with their shoulders, the modern machines are even healthier than the traditional racing wheelchair. And the sitting position is upright. A handbike also has a gear system, making it very popular among many people with disabilities.
The handbike's gear system makes it ideal for outings with groups of people with disabilities and able-bodied cyclists. Strong handbikers can even practice with cyclists, rollerbladers or runners for extra motivation. Handbiking has various classifications based on disability.
A growing number of competitions
Increasing interest in a piece of sports equipment is reflected in a growing number of competitions. Since the upsurge in the popularity of handbikes a few years ago, an increasing number of opportunities are available to handbikers who wish to measure their sporting prowess. Many organizers of wheelchair, running or cycling events also offer handbiking categories.
Author: Dominik Feusi
With the Handikap-Nord project, Yves Néron-Bancel wants to raise money for the ICM Research Institute for Paraplegics in Paris. The journey will last 90 days and over 4600 km to the Arctic Circle. The starting and finishing point is Copenhagen. The route goes through Oslo toward the North Cape and returns over Helsinki and Stockholm. Yves comments about his adventures in a Blog.