The choice between staying on the couch or suiting up and hopping on a bike will always be a fiercely fought battle. There are so many excuses for putting off a ride. Sometimes it can be pure laziness on our part. But everyone needs a little motivational boost once in a while.
Imagine if a bicycle ride took a little more effort than just pulling your bike off the rack. For some, the act of riding requires an entire redesign on how a bike gets pedaled. For others, the challenge is to power a bike without arms or legs. A bike may be the only sense of freedom for someone with a neurological disorder.
When looked at from these perspectives, you can’t help but be inspired by the determination of some to overcome obstacles and roll out for a ride.
We’ve got the story on a few riders who inspire people every day by conquering disabilities.
Conquering Life and the Mountains @paim_legal
Bruno Paim has known challenge since birth, but now he chooses uphill challenges for himself as a champion mountain biker.
The Brazillian rider was born without parts of both arms but has still mastered the skill of holding onto handlebars. It started in 2015 when friends urged Bruno to join them on rides, and he never stopped.
He enters mountain biking events that can run for a grueling 24 hours. He brings home trophies in the adaptive division. His Instagram account features beautiful photos of his rides and some unbelievable video showing off his technique. Check him out.
Coast to Coast Inspiration @slimone1000
Legs can get fatigued quickly on a long ride. Try having only one leg to pedal with. It’s not a problem for the amazing Leo Rodgers. He’s now a sponsored cyclist while riding a bike that has no pedal or crank-arm on the left side.
Leo lost his leg after a 100mph motorcycle accident in Florida 13 years ago. He was in a coma for a week. A few years later he turned to cycling as a way to satisfy his daredevil side in a new way. To date, he’s taken home numerous medals for Paralympic track cycling.
Leo recently spoke to an adaptive physical education class at the University of Nevada, Reno. He’ll be doing more of that with his new sponsorship with RonsBikes, Crust Bikes, and Ultradynamico Tires for 2021.
Leo is now living in Costa Mesa, California conquering a new coast. A recent Instagram post even hints he’ll be giving surfing a try.
Sisters Ride Together @joellegalatan
Joelle Galatan uses numerous platforms to speak out for disabled bikers everywhere. A disabled biker herself, she advocates for other bikers after being inspired by her sister who is on the Autism spectrum and loves to ride a bike. Galatan wanted to teach children like her sister how to enjoy the sport.
Joelle was a Spectrum News New Yorker of the Week last year and it was well deserved. They caught up with her as she taught a class that she pioneered with help from Bike New York. Her courses called “Learning to Ride on the Spectrum” offer a safe place for kids to train on a bike with professional instructors.
Galatan told Spectrum, “I think we have these misconceptions about what people with disabilities can and cannot do and I really think that people with disabilities, they know themselves what their limitations are. I think it’s very important for them to come to class and see what they can do.”
With all her activism for such a good cause, Galatan still manages to make 20 miles a day on her own bike.
Disabled Biker Fights City Hall @darlene.mcgraw.9
Darlene McGraw loves biking, but it’s also her only way of getting around. So when road conditions started getting dicey around Saratoga Springs, Darlene took up the battle for pavement repair.
The 35-yr-old woman suffers from epileptic seizures and vision and balance problems. Driving a car isn’t an option, so bicycling provides her with true freedom. She just needs a proper surface to ride on.
The Times Union profiled Darlene and her fight in 2020. When Darlene didn’t get a response from the city on the pothole problem, she took to protesting with a sign and even planted flowers in the holes.
She wants to protect herself and other drivers from these hazards. She doesn’t want to see these potholes turn into sinkholes, something Florida is famous for.
If you like fighters, follow this cyclist on Instagram.
Wheels for Wellbeing @wheels4well
If a picture is worth a thousand words, then photos posted by Wheels For Wellbeing can write an epic, inspirational novel. The organization helps bikers with disabilities gain the confidence to cruise the streets and the resulting smiles are something to see.
The organization in York, England has bikes that allow almost anyone to enjoy a pedal. They keep handcycles, bicycles, tricycles, recumbent tricycles, and go-karts corralled for anyone who wants to give them a try. Volunteers will even partner up with disabled riders on side-by-side cycles and tandem bikes.
On their Instagram account, you’ll see many happy stories. While riders have been stuck at home during quarantine, Wheels for Wellbeing has delivered their bikes to people at home so they can get out and enjoy the sunshine while still practicing social distancing.
We Are Los Angeles Bicycle Law
At Los Angeles Bicycle Law we celebrate all cyclists everywhere and are advocates for safe roads and safe rides.
We concentrate our practice solely on bicyclists who have been injured as a result of the carelessness and negligence of others. We’re dedicated and effective Los Angeles bicycle accident lawyers. If you were injured in a bicycle accident in or around Los Angeles or anywhere else in Southern California, contact us right away for a confidential free consultation and case review.