“If you will it, it is no dream”
Two years ago I wrote a blog all about riding my trike (A question of direction…) but I never mentioned my issues with footwear for cycling.
I bought my modified trike a few years ago and bike shop mechanic installed two options for my riding 1) using normal runners and with stirrups; or and 2) Using cleats (eg. bike shoes) for the other side. Luckily I can choose either of every ride and the flexibility is nice. For example, riding to the shops (quick trip) I will use my runners but on longer trips I will use my cleats - in theory anyway.
The stirrups were essential for my riding because I can’t control my right leg, but in reality, I use my runners/stirrups option every time because I can’t use the cleats. The process of clipping in and clipping out with one hand is very very difficult and honestly, I thought it was impossible to do it - at least without help.
However I never abandoned the idea of using cleats, because I thought it would be safer and more efficient with my riding. Using cleats I can ride faster and I can generate more power with my legs - especially with my affected right leg.
So only recently, I decided to search for a person to help and try to train me to use the cleats without help. I used the company ‘HireUp’ and eventually I found a support worker. The man was experienced with cycling and cleats. It was lots of trial and error but we found a way. Long story short, I can use my cleats without help now. Mission accomplished… persistence and stubbornness won the day and I am excited to ride more often.
The reality is I am always keen to improve my independence and occasionally I can’t do stuff with my disability - I know that - but swallowing my pride and asking for help is sometimes the best way to overcome goals.
This video is showing my method to using the cleats: