Peter den Boogert (52) used to play tennis at a nice level, he explains during the European Para Championships. When he was 22, he suffered from thrombosis legs, which left him with severe arteries and circulatory problems. This prevented him from playing sports on two legs from a young age. Because he used to do so, he started looking for an alternative. On the Willem Alexanderbaan he inspires visitors to get acquainted with handbiking.
Handbiking is a form of cycling where you drive the pedals with your hands and thus also control the bike. You have complete handbikes with three wheels in which you are kneeling or lying down, but also coupling bikes that you can mount in front of your wheelchair. As a wheelchair user, this allows you to travel long(er) distances and thus increase your mobility options.
“Valid people want to sit in the handbike, but there are also people with disabilities who just want to give it a try. We want to let people experience what it’s like to expand your world in this way. Especially for people with walking disabilities, there are actually very few opportunities to participate in endurance sports.”
‘If I can inspire one person I am satisfied’
Handbiking allows you to play sports and work on your fitness. “If there’s just one person who thinks hey, that’s nice to do, then I am super satisfied.” Peter succeeded in that during EPC2023.
Wheelchair tennis star Isa Schogt from IJsselstein may go to New York from Sept. 7 to 9 for the US Open Wheelchair Junior Championships. On Friday, she couldn’t get off the handbike. “She is a young girl who still has a whole future ahead of her. I also told her to see it as support for her sport. So she can train her fitness well. She rode a few laps here and couldn’t get off the bike. That was incredibly fun.”
Not only was Isa’s day a huge success, her grandfather also took his moment in the handbike. “He also wanted to take a lap. Now he knows what his granddaughter will be doing later. That’s our goal here.”
Isa decided right away to handbike and will rent a bike from the Dutch cycling federation KNWU. “From experience, I know she’s going to become even more enthusiastic. I think she will soon go to a custom-made handbike. Hopefully she’s going to put a lot of miles on that and then she’s going to find that it will benefit her tennis career as well.”