My name is Isaac Malter. I have quadriplegic cerebral palsy, communicate with an alphabet board or a voice output computer and drive an electric wheelchair. Despite my severe physical disabilities, in 2016 I graduated from the University of Nottingham. My Bachelor of Science Honours degree was in Environmental Science. At present I am volunteering to help people with learning disabilities through a Leonard Cheshire programme called Can Do. In Scratch, another programme, I am helping to refurbish furniture to be donated to people who cannot afford to buy it.
I have been cycling for almost my entire life. When I was little my parents, avid cyclists, took me around on the back of their bicycles in a buggy. It was great fun and I enjoyed looking around at the beautiful scenery. We frequently rode on abandoned train tracks that had been converted into cycle paths.
As I grew up I started riding tricycles. They were adapted for people with disabilities. I needed support for my back, special pedals to hold my feet in and an adaptive seat. They were very large, heavy and not so easy to transport. We often went to a lake with a nice path and I loved riding on my own. For a few years I did not do any cycling. The bikes were too big, uncomfortable and quite expensive.
One day one of my best friends got a new bike. She has cerebral palsy as well. She let me try it and it was fantastic. It is a KMX recumbent tricycle. I asked my parents if they would get me one and sure enough they said yes. We visited the company in Fareham, Hampshire and ordered one. The inventor, Barry Smith, had to develop some adaptations for me to make the steering safer and the seat more comfortable.
I got it 2 years ago and have been cycling on my own ever since. It is a wonderful bike and makes me feel so good. It enables me to get exercise, feel the wind in my face and I love it. One great thing about my KMX is that I can pedal by moving my legs back and forth instead of around in a circle like on most bikes. I often cycle around my neighbourhood. The best place is along the seafront in Hampshire or Dorset.
In order for me to get onto the bike I need to be transferred with a hoist. There is one where I live and I cycle whenever possible. I use a Changing Places hoist on the pier at Boscombe and they can be found in other places as well.
Cycling is one of my favourite things to do. I cycle whatever the weather and it makes me feel great. Having my KMX bike makes my life much happier. See you along the bike path!