Handcycles are coming down in price. In the last couple of days I’ve found one for under a thousand pounds, £930! This particular machine is an integral three-wheel upright handcycle that doesn’t have the added complication of the handcycle that bolts onto a wheelchair; and, way way cheaper.
When I first looked at getting a handcycle, a couple of years ago, I was quoted around £1600-£1800 for the front wheel and gears and anything from £1000-£1500 for the accompanying wheelchair – a whopping £2700 to £3300! At that time all-in-one handcycles were being advertised in the USA for around £900.
Now I’ll take advantage of ‘Wheels4Wellbeing’, a cycling scheme that operates in Croydon and Lambeth. This organisation specialises in hiring out a range of cycles to people with disabilities. For £3, for up to a 3-hour session, I can hire out a handcycle and ride to my heart’s content.
Once I’ve used one of these machines for a while I may consider buying a machine for myself. It’d be great to be able to get out of London, or on to Hampstead Heath and have some freedom. Wheelchairs, while affording me more freedom than I had when I walked with a stick (I could only manage to walk about 10 meters before the pain became unbearable) are still quite restrictive – as a hemi-plegic I’ve a weakness in my left side; and, my right hand is quite painful these days.