No matter what sport you think of, from basketball to volleyball to swimming to snow skiing, there is an adaptive sport to match it. Simply stated, adaptive sports are the sports you’re already familiar with but are adapted to accommodate people who have disabilities.
So instead of basketball, there’s wheelchair basketball. There’s also sitting volleyball that uses a shorter net on a smaller court. Adaptive golf, archery and even fencing are all played using modifications needed so people can not only play the sport, but enjoy it as well. Cycling is another adaptive sport, and it’s one of the most popular sports available!
More than Exercise
Adaptive sports helps those with disabilities gain the exercise they need to keep their bodies, and their minds, active. But adaptive sports do so much more than provide exercise. They offer participants a path to independence as well as a better quality of life.
There are a variety of organized adaptive sporting events that are designed for people with disabilities. And considering that approximately 20% of the population has a disability, that’s good news.
This is of particular importance to veterans. One event is the National Veterans Wheelchair Games, which is a presentation between the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Paralyzed Veterans of America. These events help veterans with amputations, spinal cord injuries and other neurological impairments. They offer veterans the skills and confidence to meet the many different challenges they face in their daily lives. In addition, the VA offers financial assistance for conversion vans for disabled veterans to help them acquire an ADA-compliant vehicle that meets their special needs.
There are many types of adaptive bikes for riders with disabilities, each with its own pros and cons. Each category of adaptive bike is designed to meet the desires of the riders.
For example, there are cross-country mountain bikes that are used by everyone from beginners to advanced pros. There are also downhill mountain bikes and road bikes. Depending on the rider’s disability, the bike can be leg or arm powered.
There are also handcycles for riders who have lower limb disabilities. And four-wheeled recumbent bikes that let the rider sit in a relaxed position. Some recumbent foot cycles feature two wheels in the back and one wheel in the front.
Another style of a handcycle sits lower to the ground and is more efficient for competitive sports. There’s also a fork steer handcycle, which is the most popular handcycle for riders with moderate to severe spinal cord injuries. Many different types of modifications can be made to accommodate the special needs of the rider, including footrest, seat angle, wheel and tire options and gears. These bikes are used for a full range of different purposes, from leisure riding to competitive racing.
Enjoy the Ride
It’s no surprise that adaptive cycling has become one of the most popular adaptive sports available. It allows riders with limiting disabilities to enjoy the sport of cycling and provide recreation to those who otherwise wouldn’t be able to participate.
Whether you’re looking to try out an adaptive cycle for leisure riding or are ready to take on the challenges of off-road adventures, there’s an adaptive cycle ready to meet your needs!