Spring is peeking through the gray clouds here in Nashville. After getting stuck inside for much of the winter, we’ve been itching to spend some time outdoors. Since it’s now quite warm in the middle of the day, we’ve been taking advantage of the cooler mornings and evenings to take walks with Solly on his tricycle.
Solly’s bike isn’t an ordinary bike: it’s an adaptive tricycle made by Amtryke. It has extra support to help keep him upright, a handle so we can help keep him moving, straps for both his hands and his feet, and handle bars that move to help teach his body reciprocal movement.We got his bike via Music City Trykes nearly two years ago when we started working on walking in a gait trainer. It was at this point that we were really struggling to teach Solly to break up the tone (aka the tightness) in his legs so he could take one step at a time, and we hoped that by introducing the bike, we could help his brain learn these natural movements. Solly loved riding on his bike and exploring the neighborhood. However, he wasn’t really riding it – more appropriately, he sat there and the bike did all the work for him. It was fun for awhile and then the bike became less of a priority since we didn’t see much benefit from it. It ended up sitting in our garage for most of the last year, gathering dust and cobwebs.
Fast forward two years, after SPML, stem cells, and amazing intensive therapies, Solly has gotten so much stronger and he is learning to move his legs independently of one another – even taking steps in his gait trainer on his own. At a recent weekend intensive in Nashville, Jennifer, our physical therapist, suggested that we reintroduce Solly’s bike into our regular bag of tricks as a fun way to reinforce his new movement patterns. She proposed that we allow Solly to try and move it forward himself.
So, since then, we’ve dusted the cobwebs off of his bike, resized it since he’s grown like a weed this past year, and started taking him for bike rides a few times a week. And guess what? For the first time, Solly has been able to really ride his trike, moving it forward all on his own. Check it out:
Note: If you’re in the Nashville area and are interested in getting an adaptive bicycle for your little one, contact Music City Trykes to learn how you can get on their wish list.