A couple of things happened over the last week that have truly inspired me. Not so much fitting related but certainly tapped in to my personal ethos and mentality.
First of all we managed to progress things on Pedal Precisions links with a new charity. That Charity is Cyclists Fighting Cancer (www.cyclistsfc.org.uk). Go and have a look at their website as they can describe what they do and why a lot more eloquently than I can! To sum up though, they provide bicycles, both standard and specially adapted bikes to children fighting cancer, as well as their siblings or parents where necessary. The benefit of these bikes really can't be measured, whether helping a child feel more alive and positive whilst undergoing treatment or helping their fitness recover once treatment is over, it really is an incredibly valuable thing to be able to provide them with.
I am really pleased to be able to work with CFC going forwards, hopefully helping to provide the right bike to the children who need it and lending a hand where I can to build, setup and deliver them to the kids. A true honour to be able to help. Alongside this, I was also put in touch with the team running a 'buddy' system for the Lymphoma Society. This is where you can become a listening ear for people who are being diagnosed every day with the same disease that you (in this case me) suffered from. It is something that I have been looking to give a little back in this way for a long time, so I am really chuffed that it now seems to be possible. I know that I would have done anything to have someone to talk to whilst having Chemotherapy of my own age, who had 'been there, don that', so to have the chance to provide this for even 1 current patient would be really great.
The other thing that inspired me, was riding with some of the paralympic squad on the track last night. In what was otherwise an unremarkable qualified riders training session, these guys showed us how strong you can be despite some serious physical limitations. One rider in-particular was able to pedal solely with one leg whilst the other was clipped in to a static pedal attached to the bottom bracket. Despite this, he was still able to put the hammer down and pushed the pace on during every exercise when he hit the front. A truly awe inspiring sight and put a lot of things into perspective.
Looking at how he was riding also made me wonder about bike fitting for specific special needs. He had a number of set-up issue which had been very well addressed to allow him to get the most out of the bike, even to the extent of affecting how the bike steered to compensate for the off-centre nature of his pedalling. I'm going to do a little research into different methods of bike adapting and report back with my findings in this blog. I can already help and adapt things for a lot of conditions, and of course there are things being done already with extendable and adaptable crank arms etc., but there must be new ways to look at things to help with efficiencies and power delivery for people who need special consideration from a bike setup point of view. It may also tie-in well and help some of the children that need a specific setup when receiving their CFC bike!
As a reminder, you can also now buy a voucher for the cyclist in your life for christmas (or get someone to buy one for you). The vouchers are available for all our services at www.pedalprecision.com or even if you wish to give someone an amount towards a fitting but not the whole cost, just drop us a line and we will sort you out.
Thanks for listening,