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Learning to ride again after foots been amputated

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  • Learning to ride again after foots been amputated

    So I'm making this post on behalf of my wife, were getting ready to try her first ride (driving) after the amputation, I plan on riding bitch (first, only and hopefully last time) and being the right leg for stops. She will be able to shift, I probably won't try to operate the back brake, I'm just looking for any suggestions to help get her back into riding, she had just learned how before the surgery and had only been riding for one season so she's still kinda new but she's pretty good at anything she does so I'm fairly confident. I have practiced rides across town using only my left leg, right hand turns are a little tricky but it's doable, very doable. I don't use the back brake that often anyway so it's just the stops that are the issue or will be the issue... Anybody know anyone that's in this boat? Whatever you guys think will help were open to suggestions, even if you think it's stupid or you think we probably already thought of it go ahead and throw it out there. I'm sure we will be fine, I just got on this sight for a mechanical problem with her bike and I thought I would throw it out there cause we're going to be doing this as soon as it gets running. Well hopefully.... She just figured she wasn't going to ever be able to but I think I've convinced her otherwise. Ty in advance.

  • #2
    Sorry to hear about her amputation. I am a retired occupational therapist who specialize in adaptive equipment. Mostly I designed equipment modifications for disabled kids and had a full-time technician to fabricate them. Where is her amputation? At the ankle or just below her knee? Does your wife have a prosthetic foot that she wears all the time? Depending on where her stump is, I would think it would be best to have some sort of shallow socket positioned on the right side instead of the standard footrest so that she could insert her stump for stability but very easily pull it out if necessary. It would also be best if she wrote a motorcycle that had linked ABS brakes. That would allow her to apply both front and rear using the hand lever. Tell us more about her specific case.

    Comment


    • OlyWaMd
      OlyWaMd commented
      Editing a comment
      So it's just below the knee and it's barely enough to be able to get a certain kind of prosthetic from what I understand. It's been nearly three years since the amputation but it's been a very long healing process because they were trying very hard to leave enough for this certain prosthetic and they had to do skin grafts to close the wound. Finally about two months ago the last of the scab finally came off and were just now going in to get the prosthetic. I've always felt like we didn't need it to ride and it would probably actually be easier without it. She's sorta unsure could probably go either way on the subject but I believe shes been thinking since we're so close to actually getting the prosthetic she was going to wait until then and after she has it for about a week she will decide about on or off for the big ride. I love the idea about the holster type harness for her right leg and we were thinking about a brand new bike with abs, the one I got my eye on is like 17k so it's out of our price range but yeah I love it TY!

  • #3
    Sorry to hear about the amputation but glad to hear she’s wanting to get back in the saddle……I had a friend that lost his leg just below the knee, unfortunately it was due to a motorcycle accident coming off a freeway on an off ramp after it had just surprised rain for 15 mins and going around the corner rear tire went out from under him and he made the mistake of trying to put his foot down to save it…….after he got his prosthetic he rode a couple of more times but he felt unsafe doing it. Could be he just was a little bit afraid of riding again but he seemed generally good when we did ride and he just never felt good about it and then he started having issues with his leg and ended having more amputated……..the only thing he mentioned that would get him back on a motorcycle again and maybe a suggestion for you as well is going with a trike. It’s a good option and wouldn’t have to worry about having to put any feet down at stops……I have friends that have the Can-Am’s and really love them and you can find them relatively cheap…..just a couple of suggestions to think about.

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    • #4
      Yeah I love the idea, if I had a lot of money I would kind of step her up with a can am but shes the type of gall that thinks speed limits are just suggestions, if you don't routinely double them your a ckn sht and you need to get the f out of her way.... She actually scares me a lil when we're in her Mazda truck, she starts right over to the fast lane and absolutely every single time we've ever been in the truck or car or whatever she always yells at the passing drivers for being stupid or for the ridiculous color of their car or just to yell fuc idk.... My kinda gal to say the least...... Breath of fresh air in today's times lol.... Ha ha.....ha.. hahahah....

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      • #5
        Side car rig or trike honestly....may never feel stable on 2 wheels.
        LET'S RIDE

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        • #6
          Everyone is free to do their own thing. But I'm in the camp with the guys who've suggested a trike or Can-Am type of ride. I appreciate your willingness to ride bitch to help her with a right side leg. But if she's a new rider to begin with, I'm not sure adding the weight of a passenger is something I'd want to do. Also, make sure you take off any bags on the bike. That would be a great way for you to get a leg caught as a passenger.

          I appreciate her willingness to want to ride and yours to help. Unfortunately, I personally see more things that can go wrong here than right. I say try to make finances work to go the Spyder route and enjoy time in the wind without the concern. Even if you try to avoid it, at some point you're going to have to have a right side plant. Even something as simple as stopping on uneven ground could cause havoc.

          Comment


          • OlyWaMd
            OlyWaMd commented
            Editing a comment
            Brad g, yeah that's what we're both concerned about is either just by force of habit or maybe a stupid driver causing a quick stop, those quick reactions don't really care what side they put you on, for this reason she has not wanted to try without a prosthetic, it's cool at least somebody knows somebody that's been able to ride with a prosthetic but what we have found in looking for advice from people in this boat is typically it's just like in the above mentioned where it was from a motorcycle accident and typically seems the PTSD from that along plays a huge part, she's from a separate medical condition so no accident involved, we may and try and rent a spider or something but I know she really loved bikes and we're shooting for that as a goal but got to do it safely too ...

          • Brad_G
            Brad_G commented
            Editing a comment
            OlyWaMd, yeah I'm sure PTSD does effect many. As you mention, your plans all sound good and solid in a controlled environment. Unfortunately on a bike we don't always control everything around us. It's this scenario I worry about for her the most. A sudden need to stop or other maneuver that depends on that right side plant could end poorly. Good plan on the rental to see how it feels. While it won't feel exactly like a bike, my guess is that the wind in the face and NOT having to worry about that plant leg will offset having 3 wheels. Best of luck to you and her going forward.

        • #7
          Sorry to hear about the amputation. At the moment, I am laid up with a tibia plateau break on my left leg. Long story short, I was riding with a group and leaving out of a parking lot, I started to fishtail (it had rained a little the night before) and being in the middle of the pack didn't want to go down in front of the dozen or so bikes coming out behind me. I put my left leg down and immediately felt the pain shoot up my leg. Several of my brothers stopped and took me to the local emergency room. I am still in a fixator, hopefully I will be out soon and be on my way to therapy so I can ride again. Living in Texas, the weather has been cold at night and nice during the day. I hobble out to my bikes and crank them for mental clarity. I hope that your wife adapts well to the upcoming challenges.

          Comment


          • OlyWaMd
            OlyWaMd commented
            Editing a comment
            Really loving all the comments on this subject, were in a very similar situation to you will be faced with the same choice as us, attempting left leg rides and risking further injury or looking for other options, our situations kind of permeant so we're learning as we go, I'm new to this site so idk how to send direct messages but send me a message and we can trade numbers

        • #8
          I am so sorry to hear about your wife's foot. I have no experience with this but I met a man who was riding with a right leg prosthetic. He was glad to share his techniques and he showed me the two levers he had installed on the left side of his handlebar. One was clutch and one was rear brake. A quick google search of "motorcycle left hand rear brake" shows multiple options that might work for your wife. Also, there are automatic kickstands available that operate much like a gate operator opens and closes a gate. That would allow her to mount and dismount without assistance. She is indeed a brave woman and I admire her resolve to refuse to let her condition dictate her abilities. If she still has problems riding or if safety remains an issue there are other options available. God bless.

          Comment


          • OlyWaMd
            OlyWaMd commented
            Editing a comment
            That's great we had never heard of that and that's definitely going to help with her confidence because she used mostly back brake, I'm thinking having the extra brake on the right side would work better so there would be just a top and bottom brake lever

        • #9
          Without a prosthetic, I don't see how she could put the kickstand up while sitting on the bike and maintain balance. The only option may be the automatic wheels that go down when you stop but if you're on a tight budget that may not be an option.

          Have you looked at the Can-Am Rykers? The 900cc runs about $9,000 new and are fast as hell! They are similar to the Spyder and come in a 600 or 900 cc. She should go test ride one.

          Comment


          • OlyWaMd
            OlyWaMd commented
            Editing a comment
            Not sure what the Ryker is but yeah I will check it out, and we can probably afford around 1 to 2k for mods but ideally wouldn't be over the 500 ish range, what do the wheel things your talking about run?

        • #10
          My wife rode a couple times after losing her left leg from below the knee down. She said she felt unbalanced and was never very confident. Before the loss, she was an accomplished rider, she could out-brake me with the front brake and had good riding habits. Now that she's lost the other leg, she's pretty much given up on riding. That really sucks 'cause it's something she really enjoyed.

          Comment


          • OlyWaMd
            OlyWaMd commented
            Editing a comment
            Has she tried just riding shot gun with you? For us it was a pretty big thing just doing that, man I really feel for you her having lost both were concerned all the time about that but ATM things are looking alot brighter just got to do some stuff to ensure it stays that way, like not smoking for one.... I'm just as guilty though.... With the smoking cigarettes.....

        • #11
          Good for her for telling life's challenges to BLOW!

          Maybe it's just me, but I think if I had the right prosthetic I'd be riding in a heartbeat. I wouldn't have concerns about the actual ride, but about balancing the bike while stopped. These bikes are super heavy. She needs to get that right leg firmly planted in all kinds of situations, so I'd make sure I had something long enough to easily reach the ground; maybe even longer than the left leg, just for riding. Having a tube sleeve on the floorboard rest might be nice, but I'm thinking that putting a frame around its outside perimeter may be a good option, maybe even 3-4" in height, giving her a sort of box to slide her 'foot' around in that allows her easy in and out access while also being able to change position as desired. She can brace the prosthetic against the edges when desired, without the restrictions of feeling strapped in.

          I agree that having you ride in back might not be the most desirable thing to try, other than the fact that you can stabilize the bike when stopped. With the right prosthetic, with plenty of dry-run preparation, I'd think she'd be fine just jumping on and riding, assuming her skills were sufficient before she had this challenge to deal with.

          If it was Anne? She'd be all-over a CanAm. She's been bugging me for five years to buy her one... But the most she's ever ridden solo was her 50cc scooter when living in Vegas.

          Comment


          • OlyWaMd
            OlyWaMd commented
            Editing a comment
            It's hard for me to picture the mod your describing I will screenshot this post and show her because she would understand better then me, this is also a big thing I've been debating is if the best idea is for her to just jump on or to try one with the co pilot. She just figured she was never going to be able to ride again and I had taken her on her first ride since the amputation and that really inspired her that she could do it herself again, although she has at times gone back and forth so I'm trying not to push the issue and take things one day at a time, we just got a new bike so she's all over seeing how that one rides with me driving of course.... Probably a month out from getting the prosthetic so I'm using this time to budget for possible mods and get advice. Ty much

          • MidnightRide
            MidnightRide commented
            Editing a comment
            It depends on her prosthetic. If the bike has standard floorboards, I'm describing sort of building a guardrail around the perimeter. Line the inside with some kind of thin rubber non-skid. You could even do it in a U shape, allowing her to slide her 'foot' in from the rear, or slide it out quickly and easily if needed. The idea is to give her something to brace against while on the road. Maybe even a short one, like 1/2" above the outer edge, would work best.

        • #12
          Sidecar = useful
          Attached Files
          LET'S RIDE

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          • #13
            https://www.rideapart.com/features/2...-legup-system/

            You can find Rykers used on Craigslist.
            https://can-am.brp.com/on-road/us/en...rc=aw.ds#ryker

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            • #14
              maybe with modification of the prosthetic and bike? anything can be accomplished with time and patience

              Comment


              • #15
                Is her bike a Road*? Or is she riding something different?

                From my understanding from people who ride the Can-Am's they really are quite fun and agile. As mentioned before the safety factor would be the biggest concern. i think renting the Can-Am is a really smart idea. and depending on what she is riding selling it will help that cost of the Can-Am.

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                        • #20
                          Personally, the thrill of riding is the ability to balance while going straight and to lean into turns. I don't discount that three wheeled vehicles are fun and exciting but everyone rides for a different experience. If I were to lose the ability to stabilize a bike I would seriously consider a Piaggio MP3 500. I have never ridden one but the videos I have watched show a very maneuverable scooter that can lean into turns and hold itself upright when stopped. Not for everyone but a choice worth considering.

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