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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Utah, Gateway to Nevada, not to be confused with Idaho
    Posts
    1,872

    Adaptive mountain biking

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    I had the honor the last two days to volunteer at a downhill mountain bike clinic for disabled folks at a local event called the No Barriers Summit. I have been volunteering for the cycling programs at our local adaptive sports center (and been loving it) and since the summit was local this year, was excited to help out with a bigger clinic. Look at the photo gallery at the link below. The amount of joy these folks exhibit is overwhelming. Yes, these bikes are seriously fun.

    Here's the article.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Pacific Northwest
    Posts
    3,473
    That just looks so COOL. I would love to volunteer at a place like that. Because I am not smart, I didn't google the right term. But there IS actually a place called Seattle Adaptive Sports, which I just dug up after I read this post. So I can look into it!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
    Posts
    14,645
    Oh, that's wonderful. Thank you for volunteering!

    The son of a friend of mine just lost his leg a few weeks ago. He was very active before the accident. Your post prompted me to look, there IS an adaptive sports organization in his area - passed the contact info on to my friend.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    the dry side
    Posts
    4,403
    I'm curious to hear more about what is done for adaptive mountain biking. My only experience is reading this article and seeing this awe and tear inspiring video about Marty Ashton, a peer of Danny McKaskill's, was paralyzed from the waist down in a bike accident.

    http://www.vitalmtb.com/videos/membe...-Back-on-Track
    2015 Liv Intrigue 2
    Pro Mongoose Titanium Singlespeed
    2012 Trek Madone 4.6 Compact SRAM

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Posts
    3
    That is one of the most awesome things ever. I've been a fan of Tara Llanes, before and after her injury. She still rocks the bike.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    the dry side
    Posts
    4,403
    2015 Liv Intrigue 2
    Pro Mongoose Titanium Singlespeed
    2012 Trek Madone 4.6 Compact SRAM

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Utah, Gateway to Nevada, not to be confused with Idaho
    Posts
    1,872
    Irulan, we have many different types of adaptive bikes at the center where I volunteer. Downhill without hand pedals, downhill with hand pedals, hand steering, chest steering, four wheels, tadpoles with two wheels in front and one in back, deltas with one wheel in front and two in back, hand bike, pedal bikes, head first, feet first...so many configurations. We have a tandem (tadpole) and snow bikes (four wheel) as well. It's been very educational (and fun) to try them all out.

    By far the biggest challenge for someone like me who is used to riding a two wheel stand up bike is not being able to use your body weight when on a recumbent mountain bike the way you do on a stand up bike. For feet first bikes (which are the most common--this is sitting in a seat with your legs out in front of you), there isn't a lot of weight over the front wheel(s), so going uphill can be very difficult (spin out because not enough weight). An issue with bike design mostly. Additionally, a rider's particular condition might make it very hard if not impossible to put weight forward. These folks all have incredibly strong cores but if you can't bring that core forward, you will spin out. Adding weight to the front of the bike isn't typically an option. While that might stabilize it a bit more, that's another chunk of weight that the rider has to take up the hill.

    This dilemma isn't an issue with the purely downhill bikes like the ones used at the resort for lift-served riding. For the most part, all the rider has to do is hold on and steer (they are strapped in). They can go ridiculously fast. They usually need a sweep rider, though, because they can't always get over little humps and if the bike doesn't have hand pedals, they have no way to create their own momentum. A sweep rider can often help with this by riding up behind and bumping the adaptive bike but the sweep rider often has to get off his or her own bike and give a push. Good quick reaction skill training on the fly!

    It's a blast. And the joy on the part of everyone--riders, assistants, people watching--is tremendous. I've been riding with the mountain bike and road bike groups a lot this summer and it has been nothing short of life changing for me. I'm doing a 52 mile road ride with a paraplegic rider tomorrow as a buddy rider. That's 52 miles on a hand bike (I will be on my regular road bike). I am in awe of these folks and am learning a lot from them.

 

 

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