Bicycle is Designed to Mimic the Symptoms of MS

Bicycle is Designed to Mimic the Symptoms of MS
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MS_Wire_Ed_Tobias
Want to know what living with MS feels like? Take a ride on this bike.

Those of us who have MS know that our disease has lots of symptoms. There are the legs that feel like they have 20-pound weights on them … balance that can have you lunging for the grab bar in the shower .. feet that trip on the smallest crack. Some of us have some of these symptoms, some of us have others.  Sometimes they’re there, sometimes they’re not. MS can be hard to explain to someone who’s healthy, and that’s the point of the MS bike.

This bike has been built to mimic the symptoms of MS. Its gears don’t work the way they should, the frame is unsteady and it takes extra effort to go anywhere. In other words, it’s a lot like me, or you.

See for yourself:

The MS bike is the idea of Carole Cooke. Cooke is a paralympic cycling gold medalist who was diagnosed with MS back in the ’90s. Cooke worked with a team of neurologists, physical therapists, mechanics and MS patients to design a bike that would imitate the shaky, dragging, unsteady feeling that everyone with MS knows. “You’ll have to be constantly fighting the bike to stay straight,” says Thom Pravda, the mechanic who built the MS bike. “Using particularly heavy parts, it’s going to be pretty fatiguing.”

And it is. Even champion cyclists have a tough go of it when they take it for a ride.

Want to see more? Check out the owner’s manual or the bike’s web site: www.thisbikehasms.com.

Note: Multiple Sclerosis News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Multiple Sclerosis News Today, or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to multiple sclerosis.

Diagnosed with MS at age 32 in 1980, Ed has written the “MS Wire” column for Multiple Sclerosis News Today since August 2016. He presents timely information on MS, blended with personal experiences. Before retiring from full-time work in 2012, Tobias spent more than four decades in broadcast and on-line newsrooms as a manager, reporter, and radio news anchor. He’s won several national broadcast awards. As an MS patient communicator, Ed consults with healthcare and social media companies. He’s the author of “We’re Not Drunk, We Have MS: A tool kit for people living with multiple sclerosis.” Ed and his wife split time between the Washington, D.C. suburbs and Florida’s Gulf Coast.
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Diagnosed with MS at age 32 in 1980, Ed has written the “MS Wire” column for Multiple Sclerosis News Today since August 2016. He presents timely information on MS, blended with personal experiences. Before retiring from full-time work in 2012, Tobias spent more than four decades in broadcast and on-line newsrooms as a manager, reporter, and radio news anchor. He’s won several national broadcast awards. As an MS patient communicator, Ed consults with healthcare and social media companies. He’s the author of “We’re Not Drunk, We Have MS: A tool kit for people living with multiple sclerosis.” Ed and his wife split time between the Washington, D.C. suburbs and Florida’s Gulf Coast.

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4 comments

  1. Kent says:

    I love this, I was and continue to be a distance cyclist before and after my MS diagnosis in 2004. However, my balance issues caused my 2-wheel bike to ride a lot like this one. After too many “unplanned dismounts”, a.k.a. “crashes”, I bolted my bike on a stationary trainer and spent the next few years riding in my basement, just to keep my legs strong. I eventually found a stable 3-wheel cycle that let me get back out on the road again, it’s so much fun!

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