"Of all the paths you take in life make sure a few of them are dirt" US Forest Sevice

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Adaptive Cyclists

So many places to ride!

One of the reasons we enjoy spending the winter in the desert is cycling. McDowell Regional park is a favorite for mountain biking. Just a 25 minute drive puts us on some sweet single track.
Beer bones Jones on the newly rebuilt shelter along the Pemberton Trail.
The Valley of the Sun has done a great job of adding multi use paths across the valley. We took this path from the Cubs Stadium in Mesa by Tempe Town Lake into Scottsdale.
There are different bike routes we like to take while here in Mesa. One we like goes to Usery
Regional Park which is a moderate 30 mile ride with climbing to the park. Many cyclists use the park as a rest stop for the restrooms, refilling the waterbottles or having a snack. We have met people from around the US and world when we would stop here. Last year, we met a couple from Minnnesota that invited us to ride with their snowbird group which we enjoyed very much.

This week, my right knee was hurting. I told Mike to go ahead and ride faster and further if he would like and meet me at the park. There were three cyclists on recumbent bikes at the stop. One lady asked Mike to help her get her foot unclipped from the pedal. Then Dan
walked over and handed us a postcard with his information. His speech was slow and his right arm and leg weak. I mentioned that there was an adaptive cycling program in Colorado Springs and he happens to be involved with (Hi to our friend Alan Severn who has been involved with
the adaptive program in Colorado Springs for quite sometime).
Dan and the other riders had strokes or other neurologic conditions that had been a huge insult in their lives. When I told them I was a nurse, they were happy to sit and share their stories and tribulations. Cycling has brought back so much to their lives. They emphasize abilities not disabilities and boy do they do that with their rides around town and across the US. I could go on and on explaining how they had to relearn so much including speaking and overcoming their isolation
but you can look at his website at www.spokesfightingstrokes.org. He does a much better job of telling their stories.
As we were leaving, we all celebrated the downhill ahead of us and the fact that we made it to the top of the hill. Riding down hill with the wind in my face, I thinking about how my knee wasn't aching quite so much after our visit. We appreciate
our health and try to do something to keep these bodies strong everyday. We never know when it will be our turn to get wacked upside the head by something out there lurking in the unknown.
Boy I ended that on a downer.... ;)


  1. That's long hill up to Usery, congrats to all of you for making that ride. My neighbor is an adaptive using only his upper body. He's not much on cycling, but kicks butt on the tennis court.

    1. It is good to add hills for the downhill ride. Tennis has to be tough on wheels. But exercise changes everything.

  2. What an incredible story they have!! I like what you said....they emphasized abilities and not disabilities!!! We all could learn from that statement!! Yes, health is a true blessing!! I was "wacked upside the head" two years ago!! Keep on moving :-)

  3. It's always so inspiring to see the enormous challenges that people can overcome. You're right, it puts everything in perspective. Here's to living and loving every day!

  4. The brain is amazing and loves exercise and stimulation but not isolation.

  5. We're in FL now but thinking about AZ next year.

  6. What a great organization! I've often wonder what it would be like if I could no longer hike. I don't like to think of that. We'll be in Surprise area during Feb, maybe we'll be close enough for a vist at some point. We will be spending a few days end of Jan beginning of Feb on our way to Surprise, I just don't know what route yet.

  7. It would be fun to get together. I bet we will cross paths someday. I agree about how difficult it would be to not have our health.