Expert: Mr. Fung Ying Ki - The first local Marathon wheelchair race finisher of the Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon 2012
Components of a Racer:
- There are 3 wheels in total: 1 small wheel at the front and 2 large wheels at the back which are of 27” diameter (same size as a regular bike).
- Steering handles are at the front for direction control:
- Road steering: when you have to turn, you press it; when you exert no pressure, the racer will resume to original position and move straight forward by the hydraulic bar.
- Track steering: It usually uses at athletic field when practicing. You may adjust the pre-set angle and make turn with this mechanical lever steering without using the road steering.
Position yourself at the racer:
- The cage is built according to body dimension. Instead of sitting, wheelchair athletes kneel in the cage.
- Make sure you lean forward instead of backward. This posture reduces air resistance and keeps you safe. Leaning backward could cause the racer to turn upside down.
- A common method to accelerate the speed is to use index fingers and middle fingers to press against the ‘push rim’ from a 1 o’clock position push down to a 5 o’clock position.
- Keep your upper body at a horizontal orientation. Avoid moving up and down to lower air resistance.
- To protect your hands from scratches, wheelchair athletes should wear gloves which have a pad under the thumb, index and the middle finger.
- A new technique is adopted amongst Asian athletes recently: press against the inner side of push rim instead of the outer from a 1 o’clock position down to a 6 o’clock position. This increases the driving distance for acceleration and thus the speed.