12 April 2021 – Margy Lynch of Huntly is hoping the Alinker walking bike she’s trialling will be as life-changing as the back injury she sustained more than five years ago.
The 63-year old used to walk marathons routinely until an infection she picked up disabled the L1 and L2 vertebrae in her spine and severely weakened her L3.
Unable to walk long distances any more but still wanting to maintain her fitness levels, she took up croquet.
But even that became difficult in recent times and her wife Leanda Lynch could see a noticeable change.
“Her mental wellbeing and her independence has gone right down as she hasn’t been able to go out. When she does, she tends to wander sideways so someone always has to be with her. Plus she’s put on weight,” she says.
“Leanda went on You Tube and saw the Alinker and thought it might help me with my walking,” says Margy.
The Alinker is a non-motorised walking-bike without pedals. The Alinker is for everyone who wants to maintain an active life regardless of their movement abilities/disabilities. It was invented by Dutch designer Barbara Alink and introduced into The Netherlands via a crowdfunding campaign in 2014.
“Our physiotherapist didn’t even know about the Alinker so we popped into Mobility Centre in Hamilton to have a look,” says Leanda.
Once there they decided to hire an Alinker for a month to try it out.
“I’d be happy just to get to the end of the street,” says Margy.
The trial is going well although Margy’s hamstrings have been sore. While Margy gets used to the Alinker, Leanda is pursuing a few funding options because they are both on invalids’ benefits. She is preparing an application to the Lotteries Commission and hopes a Huntly service club might be able to help out.
“The whole idea is so Margy can walk our dogs and meet people. Once she gets stronger, we’ll go further and further because I’ve got a push bike and we can can do it together,” says Leanda.
Margy loves the look and feel of the Alinker. “Without this I wouldn’t get to walk at all. Plus I love the yellow, I get lots of looks on it.”