Jan Janson from Noordwijkerhout has a high spinal cord injury (quadriplegic). Therefore he has to use an electric wheel chair. At home, he has a BerkelBike Home FES. It is attached to an aluminum plate with adjusted dimensions, so it fits better in his room. The video shows him trying an old BerkelBike Home for the first time in a workshop.
He is cycling here without Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES). His hands are secured in quad grips, and the failure of the triceps is compensated by an extra shoulder movement.
How the BerkelBike evolved for Jan
Since his purchase in 2005, Jan has had enormous amounts of time with the BerkelBike. One could say the BerkelBike has outgrown him as additional health issues came over time. He originally bought a BerkelBike Home with FES, but after 10 years and numerous changes in his lifestyle he has, as of the start of 2015, changed to the EasyLegs with an electric pedal assist.
Jan Janson is the perfect example of how versatile the BerkelBike products are. Even after numerous changes in his body activity, he is still able to keep in shape and train his body. This video shows Jan with his new BerkelBike setup, in full and working order. If you have any questions, you can contact him via e-mail.
HI Craig. I have been asked by Dr XXXX to send you some info on FES bikes. When I was looking at FES bikes. I went for the BerkelBike for the following reasons:
The product is well made and well supported. It works really well indoors when combined with the rolling road and PC software. It’s the only one I could find which had the electrodes built into shorts (The others are all stick on peel off!).
You get your own training plan (supported by BerkelBike).
Why did I want to use FES?
To keep fit and control my weight.
Reduce the possibility of pressure sores (Give me some bum cheeks to sit on!).
Improve bone density.
To be able to ride a bike with my kids.
It’s not cheap!
The shorts are a good idea, but they are still a pain to get on (But still better than sticky pads!). They are not cheap, and I am not sure how long they will last!
BerkelBike is based in the Netherlands. I received my consultation with the owner first hand (very impressive guy). You now have to go through UK distributors, and they are still going up a product learning curve. I should add the support I received from Da Vinci was very good.
I have been using the product for about six weeks and i love it!
I can set up and use the bike on my own, I have lost weight, I can see from my training plan that i am getting fitter, my spasm is less. The hardest thing is having the discipline to only do what my training plan outlines (I always want to use it more!).
This is the web site. It’s a good site that should tell you everything about FES Cycling and the product: www.berkelbike.com
June 17th 2010: “The cycling is going well, The summer is here at last, and i am now riding my bike outside, and it is fantastic! I am now riding the bike around our village lanes and i love it.”
First experience with the BerkelBike
The first test run on the BerkelBike was an incredible experience. It is a strange feeling when your legs become active again, when they start moving along.
Now I have been training with the BerkelBike for a while, my legs have become suppler, and I feel fit. I enjoy riding my BerkelBike and it gets me excited.
I cycle twice a week, in the morning. My wife helps me onto my bike before she goes to work. I watch the news while I am cycling. I cycle for about 45 minutes, after which I take a bath. I always cycle on the indoor trainer; I have got the software to go with it, though I haven’t installed it yet. I think cycling itself is much more important than those toys, but I am going to figure out how it all works.
It is a threshold to get started, but it is a great way to start a day. I am kind of a busy bee, but thanks to the cycling I am in better shape, and I can be an even busier bee. That is why I keep getting more and more enthusiastic about the cycling.
After a motor-accident in 2002, a lot of things changed in my life. My work, my home, sports, and finally also my relationship. I tried to keep living the “normal” life, but that was impossible. I did not have enough energy to participate in nowadays life.
Learning about the BerkelBike
I went looking for other ways to make my life meaningful and valuable. One of my friends told me about the BerkelBike, he had an article from the newspaper about the BerkelBike. I was enthusiastic right away. In particular, the sporting aspect of the BerkelBike really appeals to me. After a test-ride at the rehabilitation center in Amsterdam, I knew this was right for me. I haven’t regretted that decision once.
Life quality improvements
The first years after the accident, I suffered from medical problems caused by the spinal cord injury. I particularly had a lot of decubitus, and my leg fractured spontaneously. The BerkelBike helps me a lot with these problems. Cycling stimulates the bloodflow, and therefore makes my skin looks healthier and thicker. My gluteal muscles are firmer and more developed. The annual measurement of my bone density showed that my bones were no longer deteriorating. My physical condition has improved by cycling regularly. Cycling is physically hugely recommendable
My BerkelBike Experience
Cycling with the BerkelBike is just really fun to do. I have the Fortius with it. This is an advanced program that I use with my laptop. In the program there are different trails that you can ride simultaneously. After riding a course, you can save and follow your progress. It is also possible to use saved rides as your opponent. It is challenging and stimulating to ride against yourself.
You can use the BerkelBike also without the Fortius. After I broke my leg another time, I only used my arms so I could train my upper body. I only use the BerkelBike inside. The BerkelBike is my hometrainer, and this way I can use it independently. It is pleasant to train with my BerkelBike during good and bad times, both summer and winter.
This review was written in November 2010
As an enthusiastic cyclist I have already hand biked for several years. I prefer to ride through the meadows, where I can enjoy the view and feel the wind through my hair. The distance that I could cover was severely limited by the level of my spinal cord injury. Because of that, I went looking for a new, and better, hand bike.
Trying the BerkelBike
It was on the next Support-beurs (fair in Utrecht) where I started to look for a successor of my previous hand bike. In the meantime I tried a few, including one motor-assisted, but none of them appealed to me. I knew that an auxiliary motor would make it possible to drive longer distances.
Arriving at the stand of BerkelBike, I saw that something had changed. I considered the BerkelBike several years earlier, but at that time the product was just out of the development stage and it looked quite fragile. The bike I saw now had a professional look that made me consider it once again, and not long afterwards I left with a good feeling. It turned out that the BerkelBike could have an auxiliary engine and could be easily linked to my wheelchair – my old handcycle required a transfer to bed. Even a chin control for electrostimulation and the auxiliary engine could be arranged.
My BerkelBike Experience
At the moment of writing, I drive the BerkelBike more than half a year and I am pleased to say that it was a good buy and that it fulfills all my wishes. I use the BerkelBike combined with the Speedbraker when the weather is too bad to ride outside and when I do a warming-up before I go out. I can also cycle without electrostimulation, or even only with my arms and without the pedals, when I want to go for a relaxed ride with my friends. If I need to climb a hill, have headwinds, or want some help at long distances, then the auxiliary gives me the extra push I need.
In short, for me, the BerkelBike is everything I was looking for in a handcycle, with the big advantage that I can turn it into a recumbent bike which I can train my whole body with.
David Tyson Perry
Who Is Funda Müjde?
It’s not often you hear such a special story as the story of Funda Müjde. Funda is known for her career as an television actress, stage play actress and comedian. She has had several parts in Dutch television shows in Medisch Centrum West (Medical Center West) and Vrouwenvleugel (Women’s Wing). In 2007 during a trip to her Turkish family a car ran into Funda’s Taxi. She was the only severely wounded of the people involved, as she puts it herself: More dead than alive. After many months in the hospital she couldn’t put the dream of walking again out of her head. She has made a promise since, to never stop trying until she succeeds.
From Turkish actrice to disabled
During Funda’s career she was known as a Turkish actress. She often got casted for a role in which her Turkish descent was prominent. Now, her image has changed. She no longer is that Turkish actress from before, but has adapted to a new image as an actress in a wheelchair. She has stood on many podiums and has told her story many times, in many different ways. Funda was ready for the next step in her career.
The next big step
What Funda did next was make a commitment to a big challenge. Funda decided to return to her land of birth, traveling the same route her father did 50 years ago in reverse. But she wasn’t going to do it by car, she was going to cycle it. And the perfect bike for her to do so on would be the BerkelBike. Funda began training in 2013 to ensure she can ride the full 2.700 kilometer with the BerkelBike in 50 stages.
28th of may it was finally time. Around 13:00 Funda Müjde left on her BerkelBike from Amsterdam to Istanbul. On her departure friends, family and supporters gathered to wish her well on her journey. After a full morning program, famous Dutch personalities Ali B and Rayman gave the start signal. A few cyclists, among them was Rik Berkelmans, the creater of the BerkelBike, supported Funda by cycling along for the first few kilometer. The journey has now begun which means Funda will be traveling on her BerkelBike for three months.
June 2nd – Koln
Funda has crossed the Dutch border to Germany and will continue towards Remagen, Germany in the next couple of days.
June 4th – Koblenz
Funda has arrived in Koblenz, which is a total distance of 375km in little under a week.
June 6th – Mainz
Funda is still in Germany, she is conquering her first real mountains.
June 12th – Central Germany
This was a huge day for Funda, she BerkelBiked over 95 kilometer in a single day! What a victory!
June 14th – Central Germany
Funda has been on her way for two weeks and has traveled about 700 kilometer. She is getting the hang of it, while her husband worries away.
June 17th – South-East Germany
Funda is traveling towards Vienna. Tomorrow she will cycle towards Obernzell, which is a steady climb of almost 35 kilometers.
June 20th – Near Vienna
Funda is almost in Vienna. She has managed to arrange a physiotherapist to get daily check-ups. She is traveling with three men in total, which is affecting her more negatively than she anticipated.
June 22nd – Vienna
Funda finally arrived in Vienna, which is the big detour for this trip. She wanted to participate in the Handbike Battle in Kaunertall. It’s not just the detour of over 600km, but also the challenge of the Battle it’s self that is physically exhausting.
June 26th – Kaunertall
The Handbbike Battle is today. Funda says it certainly was a highlight of her trip, even though the 20 kilometer climb was extremely heavy for her.
Juny 1st – Ober-Drauberg
After a few days of rest Funda put down a great day score of 72 kilometer.
July 3rd – Border of Slovenia
One of the final days of Funda in Austria. After a long visit she now says farewell to this beautiful country and continues on her journey.
July 8th – Slovenia
Funda has arrived in the centre of Slovenia and feels like taking a day off. She made sure to get spoiled during her day off.
July 13th – Slovenia
Funda is still cycling in Slovenia and made some calculations on the past two and a half months. On average she cycles 5 to 7 hours or 55 to 60 kilometer a day.
July 18th – Slovenia
Funda is now traveling through the old war zones. There are a lot of marks the warzones left, such a bombed houses and bullet holes in homes, which get to Funda. Additionally Funda heard of the MH17 flight, a Dutch commercial airplane, crash after being shot down killing hundreds of people.
July 23rd – Servia
Funda has traveled a great amount into Servia even after the emotional days she has just had.
July 24th – Servia
Servia Funda got greeted kindly by the Dutch Embassy in Belgrado, Servia. On towards Bulgaria!
July 25th – Bulgaria
Today, things didn’t go as planned. The camper got stuck in mud twice. Luckily there was help available and she managed to pass the border to Bulgaria.
In this movie, he is talking about his experiences with the BerkelBike Home FES. It is an exercise bike with a hand bike possibility for the arms and Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) for the paralyzed legs.
He used to have some difficulties with putting his legs in the leg supports. The movie shows the handiness he developed to overcome this little problem. A pillow does the trick.
David Martin tells Mobilise how the BerkelBike is helping him back to fitness.
My world was turned upside down in October 2007. Until then, I had been a very active extreme sportsman, rowing was my sport for many years, and I had just run several marathons in the Kalahari Desert in South Africa. It was just after these marathons, on route to Cape Town for a holiday, that my life was abruptly and violently changed. I was in an appalling car accident which left me with a C6 spinal injury and paralyzed from the chest down. I have no recollection of the accident – probably a good thing – and I was in intensive care for about a week. After two weeks, I returned to the UK, having to put up with a pretty awful ten hour flight and the fact that at first the crew tried to put my stretcher into the plane the wrong way around!
On arrival back in the UK, I was transferred to Stoke Mandeville to begin my recuperation.
While I was in Stoke, one of my best mates, Luke Grove, started researching equipment that might benefit me when I eventually left hospital. He quickly became convinced that FES (functional electrical stimulation) would do me a lot of good and set about trying to find the appropriate FES Cycling system for my needs.
He scoured the market and finally found the BerkelBike, an ingenious invention manufactured in the Netherlands, that combines all the benefits of FES into a recumbent bicycle and hand bike that is driven by both arm and leg power. It is designed for anyone suffering from spinal injury, stroke, or MS keen to find a means to keep fit and enhance muscle development.
However, in common with all innovative equipment for the disability market, the BerkelBike came at a price! A price that at the time I couldn’t quite afford. It’s such a shame that technology like the BerkelBike is costly, but I guess with a small potential market restricting sales and plenty of R&D necessary upfront, it’s difficult to keep costs down. In this day and age, you would think that grants might be made available for more SCI patients to benefit from the interesting and innovative products on the market – but that’s another article!
Thankfully, my old rowing club, Reading, came to the rescue and raised a staggering £12,000 in just four months. This allowed me to buy the BerkelBike.
The reason the BerkelBike is so important to me is twofold: Firstly, it’s allowing me to steadily increase my fitness to a level where I’ll be able to return to some of my favorite sports such as rowing and cycling. Secondly, the mental benefits I derive from the BerkelBike are great, as I know that I’m doing myself the power of good using it and I’m able to get out and about with friends.
Prior to the onset of this winter – not a great one for anyone with a disability! – I was using the BerkelBike outdoors maybe a couple of time s a week, cycling along the towpath watching the rowers. The winter forced me indoors to use it, but I’ve tried to use it at least three times a week.
The benefits of using the BerkelBike have been tremendous. I’ve seen tangible benefits from the time I’ve been spending at rehab with Standing Start, an organisation that aims to provide an improved quality of life for people with spinal cord injuries. Their aim is to get muscles working again below the level of injury using an intensive exercise regime. Before they are prepared to work with you, they insist that you have some level of fitness and they also require you to have a bone density scan before you start. As my scan showed a better than normal bone density I’m convinced the exercise that I had been doing previously with the BerkelBike must have been doing some good.Of particular importance is the BerkelBike’s FES (Functional Electrical Stimulation) feature which uses electric impulses to stimulate my muscles, causing them to contract at the appropriate time making it possible for me to cycle. Without FES I would not be able to cycle at all.
Just being able to do some exercise that raises my heart rate and leaves me a bit puffed out is great. What’s so important about the BerkelBike is that it not only gives me the chance to exercise effectively but that it will also help build my leg muscles back, helping the joints and stopping osteoporosis in my leg bones. Of course I miss running and rowing hugely but at least the BerkelBike is helping me to fill in some of the gap. I’m also hoping that the intense abdominal spasms I suffer from will be considerably eased by using the BerkelBike.
When I’m out and about on the BerkelBike it does raise a few eyebrows. One young lad did say to his dad that he wanted a BerkelBike. I explained to him that he really didn’t want one!
I believe that one of the keys to keeping focussed when you’ve been injured like I have is to always set yourself realistic goals. Apart from the overall goals of getting fitter and generally feeling better, late this year or early next year Luke and I are planning a cycle trip across the North Coast of Spain. But that’s going to be another story!
Cycling with multiple dissabilities
Parri is also in another way a special BerkelBike user. She is mentally and physically handicapped, caused by meningitis and an incomplete high spinal cord injury.
She cycles weekly and in the summer twice a week, but always with a companion. When it is heavily raining, she cycles on the stationary bike. Recently, she managed to cycle completely independently with this tricycle. At first, this could not be imagined.
Richard lives nearby Milton Keynes in the UK. After an accident he got a complete spinal cord injury at C5/C6.
Richard uses his bike inside and outside. When the weather is bad he cycles indoors. He often cycles the same route in order to keep track of his progress. He noticed a strong growth in his shape and speed since he started training. At about 1:00 into the video you can actually see Richard use just his legs to peddle, making him able to rest his arms if need be.
How Richard uses his BerkelBike
Richard uses a BerkelBike Connect and thus connects his wheelchair to the BerkelBike. The Docking Station VR allows Richard to cycle his favorite track, even if the weather isn’t on his side. That way he can track his progress, even if it’s off season. Whether he uses the cycle in- or outdoors, he always uses FES. It allows him to cycle with both arms and legs, or even just legs, thanks to the incredible progress he has made. In the summer, he likes to cycle daily through a nature rich environment, filled with trees, long green fields and hills. The BerkelBike Connect has allowed him to build a lot of muscle in his legs.
How I learned about the BerkelBike
If you do nothing with your legs for a while, they will automatically be transformed into matchsticks. So yesterday I was at the St. Maartenskliniek (rehabilitation center) in Nijmegen to get an explanation about a bike (the BerkelBike).
My BerkelBike Experience
This bike has three wheels, and looks like a recumbent bike. And even though my legs ignore every sign I give them, I will soon cycle with my legs. How I’m going to do that? With electronic impulses!
I have chosen this bike because I want to keep my leg muscles fit. It also has other benefits, namely improved circulation, reduced risk of decubitus, less spasms, and a lower risk of cardiovascular disease.
I received the BerkelBike, which I have previously written about. It all works perfectly, but it is a tiring activity and then I’m not talking about the cycling itself, but about the preparations you need to do before you can ride. Anyway, it’s a beautiful invention and a special experience to do something with my legs after such a long time.
Flow VR makes cycling even better
The BerkelBike can come with a computer program. This makes the cycling more fun. For example, you can cycle the Tour of Flanders and the Amstel Gold Race, but I still need to practice for that. Outdoor cycling is also possible, but cycling alone is not that nice, so if someone wants to go for a ride, let me now! ?
Movement by cycling with arms and legs
In a leaflet that I received from the rehabilitation center, I read that the best way to deal with the pain is to stay busy. By staying busy I can move my thoughts so I can endure the pain. Unfortunately, you can’t stay busy all the time. During relaxing activities, like watching TV, you sometimes forget the pain, but it is harder to ignore it. About four years after the surgery, we read an article in the newspaper about the BerkelBike. We were immediately excited and got in touch with POM rehabilitation technique. The BerkelBike was delivered pretty quickly and at the same day I started to use it according to the schedule. Training gets harder gradually, which makes it very enjoyable and I haven’t experienced it as too heavy.
I cycle quite intensive in order to keep my body moving well, I ride about 2 to 3 times one hour a week on the bike. Every new training I try to improve my previous time. I feel much fitter now and I certainly feel that it is good for both body and mind. I use the BerkelBike only indoors, because I can’t move the bike down and outside by myself. Although I go to work for years now on another connecting bike, I now arrive fit and vibrant where as previously I arrived at work sweaty after only three kilometers.
Cycling on the BerkelBike makes my buttocks and thighs remain fairly well developed. Moreover, I realized that also my upper body was getting well trained. Old clothes didn’t fit me anymore because of my more and more developing muscles.
Always a challenge
Altogether, I enjoy the bike a lot. It is always a challenge and afterwards I feel satisfied and I also lose the necessary calories. Therefore, I can recommend the BerkelBike wholehearted. You will get a schedule of Rik Berkelmans himself and if you have questions about it you can always call him. This gives me a safe feeling.
When you’re hesitating about buying the bike, I say to you “Sure do!”
Independant cycling with an incomplete spinal cord injury at C3/C4
After a horrible mountain biking accident years ago, Luke now has an incomplete spinal cord injury at C3/C4. Very little movement is possible, but he is trying to build on his strength with exercise.
Cycling with all limbs in Africa.
Sanet Taljaard has been using her BerkelBike since July 2012, and was one of the first to receive an alluminum BerkelBike. She has been enjoying it ever since, and shared with us a photo of one of her trips through the beautiful scenery of South Africa. Sanet has had an incomplete spinal cord injury at T12 since 2010. She has the BerkelBike Pro with the adjustable metal footcups and calf support. To provide her with exercise all year through she also uses a Docking Station with speedbreaker for indoor use.
Keeping in shape after a spinal cord injury with Lizzie
Lizzie has always been sporty, unfortunately she had an accident when a car hit her with its trailer. After her recovery, she still wanted to exercise and after the first FES cycle failed to give her outdoor cycling and a full body workout, she decided to purchase the BerkelBike.
The following was posted by Monique van Gemerden on Facebook, after we asked customers to share their BerkelBike story for our 12½ anniversary. It is translated from Dutch to English.
Monique’s favorite BerkelBike Moment
My favorite BerkelBike moment wasn’t too long ago when we cycled through the centre of Rotterdam. It’s soothing not having to be afraid to get off. Due to my Cauda equina syndrome (CES) I have limited feeling in my legs, which causes me to lose balance rather quickly. Everything I can get from it, I am getting. What makes it even better is the ability to also use my arms. I had to get used to it at first, as getting used to the bike is needed. The first time we quit after 3 kilometers, and it turned out to have a factory defect.
The time after that, the gears weren’t working the way they were supposed to. At that point, I didn’t have a great feeling about the BerkelBike, but when I called, I got great help and now the bike works perfectly! My longest ride was 42 kilometers, more than 26 miles, all the way from Hoek van Holland to Scheveningen. I hope BerkelBike continues to exist for a long time and keeps developing, just so I can have fun cycling!”
“I was so happy with my BerkelBike. I only had to give it back to the Wmo. My husband and I were moving to another city. I have to apply it again. ” Monique is moved in the meantime and is cycling again on her brand new BerkelBike.
“I am doing good. I use the unit every other day. I started out with the setting at 4, and used it for about five minutes. Now I use it from ten to fifteen minutes with resistance switched from 1 to 5, depending on how fast I want to go. The unit is a lot easier to get going than other ones I have used, because I only have one arm to get going. It has helped out with muscle recovery in my bad arm.”