Although it’s probably not going to happen anytime soon, it seems to us that mountain biking could actually work as a Paralympics event. The feasibility of events is there, as is the spectator-friendly nature of it.
There are now more ways than ever for riders with disabilities to ride off road.
Different types of bike
There are three- and four-wheeled off-road wheelchairs as featured predominantly in the video above.
There are hand-cycle adaptive bikes, which use hand-cranked pedals.
There are regular mountain bikes adapted to work for people who are missing a limb.
There are even fully electric-powered mountain bikes – such as Martyn Ashton’s famous machine.
Riding into racing
What it will take is competitive off-road racing for riders with disabilities to take off properly at grass roots and beyond. At the moment the sport is in its relative infancy and is understandably focussing on ‘just’ riding off-road and people pushing their own boundaries.
But we all know what it’s like with bikes. People will always want to race them sooner or later. It’s only a matter of time.
This video is an edited version of a video by the Rough Riderz Club. If you’re interested in seeing more then Rough Riderz have put the full 16 minute version on their Vimeo page.
You should also pay a visit to the Rough Riderz website as it’s a fascinating and inspiring site. As well as plenty of new bike tech to pore over, there are some pretty humbling stories on there as well.
Keep up the good work!