Disabled cyclist aims to cover 1,000km

MALAYSIA - He may be physically disabled, but that has not deterred him from wanting to get into the record books.

Mr Azman Yeop Akhil is aiming to be the first handicapped Malaysian to cycle more than 1,000km and make it into the Malaysian Book of Records as a result, The Star reported.

To clock the required distance, the 43-year-old will cycle through six states over nine days, making a loop around half of Malaysia.

Mr Azman, who lost his right leg during a road accident eight years ago, started the expedition at Universiti Malaya (UM) on Tuesday and is expected to return to UM on Aug 28.

"The furthest I've cycled so far is Cameron Highlands, so I'm looking forward to this challenge," said Mr Azman, who is involved in Ekspedisi Kasih Bionik, an initiative bringing together UM's Centre for Applied Biomechanics, Photonics Research Group and the Faculty of EngiĀ­neering.

Prosthetic leg

The project involves UM scientists building a customised prosthetic cycling leg for Mr Azman.

Photonics Research Group's Dr Faisal Rafiq Mahamd Adikan said the prosthetic leg is designed in such a way that it fits into the bicycle pedal, The Star reported.

He said: "It is also fitted with fibre optic sensors that will send real-time data on his vitals, such as heartbeat and temperature, to the UM laboratory over the course of his 1,100km journey."

Faculty of Engineering deputy dean Noor Azuan Abu Osman said the initiative is the first of its kind.

He said: "We will be able to monitor things like how tired and how comfortable he is.

"This in turn will enable us to evaluate the overall quality of the leg, so we know where and how we can improve."

He added that the expedition is a project under UM's High Impact Research initiative, for which it received a government grant of RM590 million (S$229 million).

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