On Saturday I had tickets to see the Men’s Road Race competition. It was terrifically exciting as they zoomed nine times round Box Hill. Shame about the result but ho hum. In recent times Britain has become bike mad. Bicycle bits crop up a surprising amount of times – in rather unusual ways - in the medical collections. So even if it all goes wrong for Bradley Wiggins in the time trial (and fingers crossed not!)- here’s some ideas to put his bike to good use to:
This stange looking contraption is known as a radium ‘bomb’. Radium was a radioactive source used to give radiotherapy for cancer treatment in the 1930s at Westminster Hospital. The radium was placed in the egg-shaped lead-lined head (known as the ‘bomb’) and a bicycle break cable enabled doctors to expose patients to the radium by opening and closing the shutter at a distance – helping them to avoid exposure to the radiation.
This ‘exo-skeleton’ leg frame was designed to relieve pressure on the joints of people with arthritis. It features an adapted bicycle seat to help the user to rest their weight when strapped into the frame.
Perhaps our star object is the Stoke Mandeville Hospital bed cycle – which employed bike chain and cassette to help injured WW2 veterans rebuild strength in arms and lengths by pushing pedals. Stoke Mandeville Hospital was the site for the games that went on to become the Paralympics.
Cycling is clearly not just a recent passion. A number of tattoo’s in our collection, dating from around the 1890s show a great love for the sport.
It would be interesting to know whether many of the GB Team have taken their passion for cycling as far inking the skin. Anyway – good luck to Wiggins and all the cyclists – let’s hope they strike gold!
PS. Yay – Gold! Congratulations to Bradley Wiggins for winning the time trial. Ok so he wasn’t ever in danger of needing to break up his bike for hospital parts.