Posted - February 2020 in Living with HSP - Management & Treatment News
Making a huge mobility difference
What is the Alinker? The Alinker is a non-motorized walking-bike without pedals. With an adjustable saddle and handlebars, it is custom designed to challenge assumptions about disability.
The Alinker is for people who identify with being an active person (who they are) but happen to have an illness or condition that impacts their mobility (what they have). It is for people who want to maintain an active life and support their wellness practices.
Lori, an HSP community member who lives in Austria (yes, Austria not Australia) writes:
“Selma Blair, a famous actress and mum and someone battling MS, posted herself on the Alinker walking bike with the caption: I got places to go! I responded, thinking it was super cool and that it could possibly be what I had been looking for…something to help me exercise and strengthen my nearly non-existent hamstring muscles. I got my Alinker in Zurich from Barbara Alink, the inventor of the device, and it has literally changed my life.
My first try: I could barely ride it. I had no business saying, “Yes, I’ll take it.” But, I knew, that it was the right decision. I knew that I was going to have to practice every day to make it work for me. Ideally, you should put your full weight on the seat and walk. I don’t think I need to say that having HSP makes that idea very challenging. In my case, my hamstrings are so weak, that I don’t have enough force to push the ground in order to propel myself forward. Therefore, I must come off the seat, in order to have more force with which to push off.
Two weeks later: I walked with the Alinker 4 times around a track (1600 metres). It took me 107 minutes. Two weeks later again, I walked that same distance with the Alinker but it only took me 85 min. I shaved 22 minutes off my time. My hamstrings are stronger! I can do one complete standing hamstring curl (couldn’t get it off the ground weeks ago) and I am closer to sitting comfortably on the seat.
I use the Alinker at the school where I teach to get from room to room. I use it in the classroom so I can teach and I use it at the track so I can exercise. The most important thing though, is that it has given me legs. It has given me the freedom to imagine that an experience is not off limits because of my limited mobility.
To make those experiences possible, the Alinker is foldable for easy transport. After only a little over 4 weeks since starting riding the Alinker I had already noticed a difference.
Unfortunately, my kitchen is way too narrow for the Alinker!. It remains at school from Monday evening until Thursday afternoon, when I bring it home. I use it every day in school in order to get from class to the teacher’s room or to go to the cafeteria or the bathroom. I have used it to go clothes shopping with my 13 year old daughter – an activity that was not possible before the Alinker. Now, I can accompany her and we remain at eye level. We have fun. She can even push me on it, if we need to quickly go someplace else. I have used the Alinker at an outdoor mall, to get from store to store. I have used it to go for walks with friends. It has been my flying companion on eight occasions and has even travelled with me on a train. It affords me the possibility to do many things that were not possible before…the Alinker is my legs.”
Here are some photos from the Internet showing where people go with their Alinker walking bike:
The Walking Bike for an Active Life. Learn more here . . . https://www.thealinker.com/
Here is the page on their website about the Alinker. Contact them by phone or email to talk about availability to try, rent or buy.