When hand cycles first appeared in the 1980’s, they were far from what they are today:
They were not even developed for the disabled community, but to create a new experience to ride a bike for their everyday user. It was difficult to get parts, mostly you had to rig something to fix a problem with your handcycle, or they were overpriced and difficult to acquire. Today, you can get hand cycles starting at about $800 to about $8,000.
The first high performance handcycle was developed by Freedomrider and the first All-Terrain handcycle (with two wheels in the front and one in the back) was developed by Mike Augspurger at Titaniumarts, which allows you to ride through rougher areas than the normal handcycle.
Most handcycles today are fork steered. You can use a handcycle no matter if your injury level is high or low. Depending on your needs, you can choose between adjustable footrest, seatback and gears. You should know before you buy a handcycle what your use will be: Racing, recreational or touring. Depending on this, you need to decide how many gears you want and what kind of tires you need.
While you can take this sportive vehicle to the next level and use it in high competitive sports like in the Paralympics (in which they appeared for the first time in Athens, Greece 2004); you can simply take advantage of this eye-catching vehicle to get (or keep) yourself in shape. Get as sportive as you want to be. Your fitness level increases and that will help your body to stay fit!
If you want to start handcycling, do not start too fast too soon (as with everything)! Talk to your doctor to help you decide what level of exercise is acceptable for your condition. Start for example about one mile at a time. Try this for some time and make sure you have a cell phone with you for emergency calls. Always make sure you have enough water with you. Increase your exercise level slowly, otherwise you risk getting discouraged with your results. Make a schedule so you can keep on track of your goals. You will feel a better muscle tone in your arms and your overall condition (out of breath) will improve. You strengthen your immune system with every exercise.
Enjoy the endorphins rushing through your body after your workout, when you have returned and finished your goal. You treat and better your body while exercising!
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