Back In The Saddle – Disabled Mountain Bikers Schooling Folks

Back From The Dead, With a Shaved Head

It’s been a minute since I’ve last blagged.  Why?  I spent the month of August working.  Poo in your eye.  Shot a movie called “Taco Shop” in which I learned a few things.  #1- Some rats hit their marks better than human actors. #2- Some actors need cue for everything.  But hey that’s cool.  #3- Some Lucho Libre wrestlers do belly waves better than Belly Dancers.

Then I shot a music video for Thievery Corporation‘s new single “Is It Over?” (video will be airing soon, and they don’t even want me to post a frame grab).  I got really sick.  My intestines were tied in knots for days.  Luckily recovered enough to work on a Kia car commercial starring NBA’s newest prodigy, Blake Griffin– boy’s got hops.

I signed an NDA, so can't say much- but that's Blake Griffin with the scarf 🙂

FINALLY, I’m home!!  For the first time in weeks, I feel 90%- and had a chance to get on the bicycle today for the first time in 2 1/2 weeks!!

Hitting Downtown on a Hand-Cycle with Knobbies

I had a great opportunity to join my buddy Devin Riley as we took Ricky James on a Mountain Bike Hand-Cycle lesson today.   Ricky was a professional motocross rider before getting in a gnarly crash which left him paralyzed at vertebrae T7.  Like every disabled person I meet at Disabled Sports Eastern Sierra, Ricky is a true inspiration.  Here are a few of his amazing accomplishments he’s garnered since his unfortunate accident:

  • He became the first paraplegic to ride a 2 wheeled dirt bike in the Ensenada Baja 500
  • Completed Ironman Triathlon, Kona in 2008 (140.6 miles in 12 hours 45 minutes).
  • Took the World Championship in the 1/2 Ironman distance of 70.3 miles in Clearwater, Florida 4 weeks after Kona
  • Silver Medal at X Games 14 in first ever Adaptive Motocross event.

I’m stoked to have the opportunity to share some mountain bike stoke with Ricky.  He and Devin were riding our new mountain hand-cycle rigs made by One Off.  These bikes are awesome.  There is a rear 9-speed cassette, that is controlled via a grip shifter on the middle of the bike.  There is also a front crank and a middle double ring that is controlled with a push lever… basically, you have many gearing options, and can get into a “super granny” gear for climbing- remember, these guys are climbing with only the muscles in their arms, no legs.  Check out this video I shot today to see what I mean!

We were able to run really low tire pressure (around 20psi)- and probably could get away with even lower.  You can steer with your hands when going downhill by putting your hands on the forward grips.  When you’re climbing and your arms are cranking away, you can also steer with your chest as you roll it on a memory foam pad that is connected with the handgrips.  Pretty frickin a awesome.  So yeah, stellar ride with stellar peeps

My two favorite quotes from today:

#1 (from a DH rider in full-face and body armor): “Damn, riding that must really suck after a while.”

#2 (from a Mammoth Bike Park Ranger): “I thought you had to be handicapped to ride those things.” (At which point Ricky promptly retorted, “Not handicapped, but I am paralyzed.”) – BOOM!

So yeah, next time I’m bitching about a climb on my SS- I’ll think about the courage Ricky and Devin displayed today as they made it the whole way through Downtown Trail without any help from me.  As the DSES motto goes, “If I can do this, I can do anything.”

Tell your couch to suck it.  Next up- the High Sierra Fall Century on Sept. 10 Hoot!

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One Response to Back In The Saddle – Disabled Mountain Bikers Schooling Folks

  1. Angela says:

    Wooohoooo!!! Family bike ride tomorrow morning!!!


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