A lonely, back road in the Whitsundays, 4 am, a motorbike and a wallaby. This combination could’ve proved deadly but although Ashley Pattemore laid on the road for nearly 2 hours waiting for help, he was a lucky one.
With a right below-knee amputation and accompanying prosthetic, Ashley now lives with the constant reminder of that early morning ride home from work 22 years ago, but he doesn’t let it get in the way of living life to the full.
Years of constant rehabilitation and physiotherapy have helped Ashley immensely. He is a doting father of three sons, one aged 22 and two younger boys aged 10 and 8. Ashley enjoys helping out as a cook for military veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder at a camp in Mareeba, and at various communities in the top end where indigenous youth undergo training. With a passion for cooking, Ashley has just perfected a secret family recipe of scones which he’s looking forward to feeding the next camp attendees (we tried but unfortunately, he wouldn’t share the recipe with us!).
Over the years, walking became harder for Ashley so his physiotherapist recommended cycling (with the aid of an eBike) as a form of exercise and ongoing rehabilitation. This initiated a claim through the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). The approval process was tedious and it took nearly two years for Ashley’s claim to finally be accepted.
The customised 2-wheeler step through mid-drive, which Ashley received in October 2021, has revolutionised Ashley’s ability to get out of the house, be more mobile and ultimately live a better life.
Ashley says the eBike gives him a wonderful sense of freedom.
He can take time to appreciate his surroundings and ‘smell the roses’. “It’s mental therapy, not just physical therapy”, he says, adding that being out in the fresh air helps to clear his head.
Ashley lives in Cannonvale in the beautiful Whitsundays and can regularly be seen riding to and from his local shopping centre, and along the beach pathways to, from and around Airlie Beach, about 15 minutes away. People are often amused, or perhaps bemused, when they see Ashley’s ‘other leg’ that he uses for swimming strapped onto the back of his eBike.
EveryBody eBikes provided a highly impressive service, customising the bike to suit Ashley’s needs. For example, they installed special pedals with a click-in function so that Ashley’s (prosthetic) foot could be connected to the bike, enabling his leg to be constantly in motion.
Ashley describes himself as “a big guy”. With a height of 6’2” and weighing in at 115kgs, Ashley needed a strong bike that would “handle” him. The electric bike customised by EveryBody eBikes certainly does that!
The eBike cruises at 22km/hour and helps Ashley to easily pedal up the steep hills around his neighbourhood. Ashley also enjoys peace of mind knowing that if he happens to stay out after dark, his eBike has lights which automatically turn on when visibility gets difficult, just like the newer style cars.
With such a beautiful area to explore in Queensland, it’s no wonder Ashley has already clocked up 300 kms.
Ashley’s younger kids are loving that they can go riding with their dad. Thanks to EveryBody eBikes, cycling is something they can all do together, and their dog gets taken for a run too.
EveryBody eBikes have certainly made a difference to Ashley’s life, and he is extremely grateful.