By Rob Hitch
More people around the world are recognising Rideables as an easily implementable and effective way of tackling congestion and climate change. What many people do not realise, is that Rideables may be able to replace mobility scooters for people with injuries and disabilities.
I was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer in 2017 which although was thankfully cured, my treatment required a number of major operations to my abdomen. Although successful, the operations did result in a number of permanent side effects including weakened core muscles and significant scar tissue in the inner left side of my pelvis. This meant that walking, sitting or cycling for a reasonable period of time was internally uncomfortable, the most comfortable positions being either horizontal or vertical with minimal leg movement. As a result, I am now registered with my first Disabled ID card.
In light of the above, I wanted to find a way to strengthen and maintain my core muscles, get out more and do my bit against climate change. It was then I came across AND ordered my first Electric Unicycle!
It took me longer than most to learn how to ride an electric unicycle, but once I was up and running the benefits became apparent in a very short period of time.
Stronger core muscles – Balancing on an electric unicycle is a surprisingly good workout for the abdominal muscles. Within the first few weeks of riding, my core muscles felt considerably stronger and are improving all the time. Added bonus being that my “middle-aged belly” continues to reduce in size too!
Reduced pelvic discomfort – Likely related to the above, my pelvic twinges also seem to be improving, becoming less severe than before. Interestingly these would occasionally return to normal levels if I stopped riding for a lengthy period of time.
Better for the environment – My car now spends most of its time in the garage. Weather permitting, journeys up to 5 miles each way, are now done on my electric unicycle. It’s more convenient, cheaper and easily taken in a taxi or on a train, if need be.
Walking any great distance used to be long winded and at times pretty uncomfortable. But with the electric unicycle to hand, I have been able to explore many parks via cycle paths etc, often reaching distances of around 10-15 miles, meeting many cyclists, walkers, and dogs along the way. In fact, I think I know more names of dogs than people nowadays!
I’ve covered approximately 700 miles to date and not come across a single negative comment. Most people (including some Police) are simply fascinated and clearly see the benefit of Rideables for the environment.
Rideables for people with limited mobility
I’m getting to know a number of electric unicycle riders who are in a similar position to myself. They love how their Rideables have made their lives significantly better. Here are a few other examples:
I was once stopped by a very excited lady in her late seventies, who proudly told me she had ordered her first electric scooter! When asked why, her response was “electric scooters are cheaper, I can take it on the bus and seated mobility scooters make me feel old”!
A recent internet video showed a guy in New York had undergone knee surgery and during his recovery wearing a knee brace, was using his electric bike (pedal-less), to get around.
The electric unicycle has made a huge difference to my day to day life. I’m using the car less and it’s helping me manage my health issues. More people considerably older than me, are also seeing Rideables as a more affordable and practical alternative to those bulky sit-down mobility scooters. To date I have not seen a registered mobility scooter that enables a rider to ride standing upright.
Rideables are not simply toys, they are a viable transportation device that gets cars off the roads, helps the environment and can greatly assist people with certain disabilities. A new class of disability scooter perhaps?