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Oom Neelsie


Jakes
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Apologies for giving more info than is actually needed. Much of it is purely for interest sake.

Oom Neels lives in the small town where we live. He was born here nearly 80 years ago. The furthest he has ever travelled in his life was to a town in the vicinity, 110km from here. He never married and has never owned a motor car. He lives off an old age pension of I think R817/month. He goes to our "big" town, 12km or so from his house, a couple of times a week by bicycle. On the back of his (ladies frame)Genesis is a Clover crate that holds the bread, pumpkin, dog food and a little bit of meat that he buys from town. There is no electricity in his rented house. 

 

His eyesight is not good, he's got some digestive problems, but for the rest of his physical condition one can only be grateful. His mind is sharp like a Minora blade, his spirit gentle. He tells about falling over on the bicycle last week:..."toe hulle my optel en ek voel nog oraait, het ek net my hoed afgehaal en die Vader gedank dat Hy my bewaar het". The impact was on his hip, and I believe his cycling contributed to it not being broken.

 

Now to the purpose of this post. At 80 years of age one is not the most stable on a bicycle. What suggestions do you guys have that we can do to ensure his mobility and also make for a safer, more stable HPV? We should also bare in mind his visibility in traffic. Three wheels, four wheels? Has someone maybe seen something that you can suggest? For me it is such a delight to invest in the life of such a remarkable person.

 

Thanks for listening, thanks for your thoughts.

 

Jacques.
Jakes2007-08-18 14:08:16
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There is a teenager here who is mentally disabled. The bike shop here put on some large version stabilisers on his bike....not sure if that's an option??

another option would be an electric bike ? so he can pedal most of the time and use the power when he needs it...

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moving story and one of those that makes you realise how lucky you are and just why you should stop procrastinating and get out there for a ride while you still can.

 

As for the bike, there was an 'disabled' athlete that used to train at Bob van Reenen (Krugersdorp track) on a tricycle. I cant imagine that it was very easy to corner at high speed but I don't think thats an issue. If memory serves me correctly, he was from United Wheelers so perhaps you can contact them for more info.

 

There is also a tricycle TT league in the UK and they have a number of frame builders that specialise in these bikes. I know of a local builder that might be willing to give of his time if he can get a blue print to work from and someone to sponsor the cost of the materials.

 

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You could contact Presta in Pretoria.

 

They do walking aids, wheelchairs, modified bikes etc.

 

I will PM you with a cell number for someone there.

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

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