Riding a bike - OK if you have balance issues standing or walkng?

Posted by jkay510 @jkay510, May 24 12:08pm

Anybody tried riding a bike although you have balance issues when standing/walking? (eg does balance problem translate to biking?)

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Hi @jkay510, You will notice that we changed your discussion title a little to better describe what the discussion is about and hopefully bring more members with some experience into the discussion. I used to ride a bike when I was a lot younger and have often thought it would be a fun activity even at my age except I too am concerned with my balance. I think Barry @user_che214927 may have some thoughts since I'm pretty sure he is an avid bicycle rider.

I did see an older study from 2013 that it may help to improve balance but I think it was pretty small — Two Pilot Studies of the Effect of Bicycling on Balance and Leg Strength among Older Adults: https://www.hindawi.com/journals/jeph/2013/686412/. Also saw this article on the topic which I thought was interesting.

"Does riding a bike require balance?
Steering is absolutely necessary to balance a bicycle, whereas body movements are not; there is no specific combination of the two to ensure balance. The basic strategy to balance a bicycle, as noted by Karl von Drais (inventor of the Draisine), is to steer into the undesired fall. Feb 24, 2016" — The mysterious biomechanics of riding – and balancing – a bicycle: https://theconversation.com/the-mysterious-biomechanics-of-riding-and-balancing-a-bicycle-55093

Do you have a bike or are you considering getting one?

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Seriously looking to buy a 20” step-through ebike. Going to dealer Thursday to see if I can ride a bike. Research tells me it is a different balance system so should hopefully be doable. Will update after trial.

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@jkay510

Seriously looking to buy a 20” step-through ebike. Going to dealer Thursday to see if I can ride a bike. Research tells me it is a different balance system so should hopefully be doable. Will update after trial.

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Looking forward to reading your update @jkay510!

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@johnbishop

Hi @jkay510, You will notice that we changed your discussion title a little to better describe what the discussion is about and hopefully bring more members with some experience into the discussion. I used to ride a bike when I was a lot younger and have often thought it would be a fun activity even at my age except I too am concerned with my balance. I think Barry @user_che214927 may have some thoughts since I'm pretty sure he is an avid bicycle rider.

I did see an older study from 2013 that it may help to improve balance but I think it was pretty small — Two Pilot Studies of the Effect of Bicycling on Balance and Leg Strength among Older Adults: https://www.hindawi.com/journals/jeph/2013/686412/. Also saw this article on the topic which I thought was interesting.

"Does riding a bike require balance?
Steering is absolutely necessary to balance a bicycle, whereas body movements are not; there is no specific combination of the two to ensure balance. The basic strategy to balance a bicycle, as noted by Karl von Drais (inventor of the Draisine), is to steer into the undesired fall. Feb 24, 2016" — The mysterious biomechanics of riding – and balancing – a bicycle: https://theconversation.com/the-mysterious-biomechanics-of-riding-and-balancing-a-bicycle-55093

Do you have a bike or are you considering getting one?

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@jkay510 Thank you for your question, I have actually been recently wondering the same thing and have forgotten to ask…and thank you @johnbishop for your comments, they were extremely helpful! I will be taking this all to heart!

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@jkay510
I have awful balance trouble but I bought a bike a bike today.
I fell a couple of times but no big deal.
I was surprised.
I got off to a rough start at the store but a few minutes of practice at practice the store and I was off. Biked almost 7 miles today.
I actually have better balance biking than I did walking.
I'll be biking to physical therapy Monday and pilates Tue.
Take care,Jake

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@jkay510

Seriously looking to buy a 20” step-through ebike. Going to dealer Thursday to see if I can ride a bike. Research tells me it is a different balance system so should hopefully be doable. Will update after trial.

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I love to ride my bike, but I too have balance issues and a numb lower leg. So….I ride on paved bike paths early (fewer walkers and little kids on bikes- they're unpredictable), keep aware of if my foot is slipping off the pedal, wear a fanny pack with identification and my cell phone "just in case".
I ride a "cruiser" style bike so I can sit upright- is easier on my back, with a few gears, so it's not complicated to use. Only problem- it's getting more difficult to lift the bike up to the trunk rack.

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I have a bike machine. No balance problem while exercising. Helps build muscles involved which helps balance and gait problems. Thinking of starting outdoor bike riding again. Should be ok, I think.

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@johnbishop

Looking forward to reading your update @jkay510!

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Like @rivermaya34 , I too wondered about a bike, it would be a burst of freedom! Biking was a major activity, along with running, before I got struck by neuropathy. I ride a stationary bike at PT each session, and with my condition, and with resistance, 10 minutes is all I’ve been able to take.
My fear isn’t as much balancing while riding the bike as it is getting my bearings and land legs back when I dismount! But I’m honestly considering a tricycle bike: easy resistance and dismounting. Good, safe, fun exercise, and with baskets so I can ride to the store and shop. I don’t care if it looks funny to others, I got past that when I started using walkers and canes!

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@dbeshears1

Like @rivermaya34 , I too wondered about a bike, it would be a burst of freedom! Biking was a major activity, along with running, before I got struck by neuropathy. I ride a stationary bike at PT each session, and with my condition, and with resistance, 10 minutes is all I’ve been able to take.
My fear isn’t as much balancing while riding the bike as it is getting my bearings and land legs back when I dismount! But I’m honestly considering a tricycle bike: easy resistance and dismounting. Good, safe, fun exercise, and with baskets so I can ride to the store and shop. I don’t care if it looks funny to others, I got past that when I started using walkers and canes!

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I think I would opt for a three wheeler also. I've seen a few recumbent versions that I like but they are spendy. Also thought of an E bike of sorts to assist this old body.

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@johnbishop

I think I would opt for a three wheeler also. I've seen a few recumbent versions that I like but they are spendy. Also thought of an E bike of sorts to assist this old body.

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I was disabled "Irreversible Bi-Lateral Vestibulopathy" By 5 MDs in 2007 after being overdosed with the antibiotic Gentamicin. I had been a bicycle rider most of my life. In May & June 1985 my wife and I pedaled our tandem bike 4,008 miles from Long Beach, CA to New Haven CT. It was wonderful!
We kept our tandem for 2 more years, but it is impossible to ride with my lack of balance. We had tears & sorrow when we sold it.
Last year I bought a new "Adult Trike'" assembled it and tried to ride down our low us street. NO! It scared the dickens out of me. Tearfully I had to admit at 83 years, I can't even "Trike". I did get a Schwinn stationary exercise bike and try to pedal it daily.
Anyone close to Pensacola, FL want a new adult trike, I paid $350?

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@oldflathead

I was disabled "Irreversible Bi-Lateral Vestibulopathy" By 5 MDs in 2007 after being overdosed with the antibiotic Gentamicin. I had been a bicycle rider most of my life. In May & June 1985 my wife and I pedaled our tandem bike 4,008 miles from Long Beach, CA to New Haven CT. It was wonderful!
We kept our tandem for 2 more years, but it is impossible to ride with my lack of balance. We had tears & sorrow when we sold it.
Last year I bought a new "Adult Trike'" assembled it and tried to ride down our low us street. NO! It scared the dickens out of me. Tearfully I had to admit at 83 years, I can't even "Trike". I did get a Schwinn stationary exercise bike and try to pedal it daily.
Anyone close to Pensacola, FL want a new adult trike, I paid $350?

Jump to this post

Welcome @oldflathead, That tandem bike roadtrip sounds like fun and I'll bet you have a lot of great memories from the trip.

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I am curious about being ever able to ride a bike again. I have had 3 femur breaks, titanium rod in each femur, plus a trapped nerve at the perineal. 3 surgeons have told me the risk to try and untrap the nerve could result in paralysis of my left leg. Also this leg has stainless steel cable ties holding the rod plus a pin in the hip. If you are wondering about 3 femur breaks, the left leg suffered a spiral break, along with two shoulder bones on the left. Dropped in Rehab and another break in femur on same leg. Five years in July. After 3 doses of the vaccine for COVID, I have pain everywhere.

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