Multiple sclerosis forced Helene Hines to stop running marathons, but it didn’t keep her from entering them.
At last fall’s ING New York City Marathon, Mrs. Hines, age 63, sailed across the finish line in two hours and two minutes, the best time among women in the race’s fast-growing hand-cycling category. “I yelled: ‘Grandma won! Grandma won!’ ” says Mrs. Hines, a Garden City, N.Y., grandmother of two who started hand cycling in her 50s.
Hand cycles are tricycles, often recumbent, powered by hand cranks. In recent years they’ve become increasingly popular for racing, exercising and recreation. They’re a good option for anyone whose lower body is compromised but who retains good hand and arm strength, says David Lee, assistant director of the University of New Hampshire’s Northeast Passage, a facility that provides recreational sports programs for disabled people.