Cycling is an extraordinary workout that can improve cardio-vascular endurance and strengthen muscles. Perhaps more importantly, cycling is simply an enthralling experience for casual and competitive riders. This sport offers adventure and fun to a broad spectrum of participants. For the recreational rider or the fine-tuned athlete cycling is just pure fun!
What do I need?
With some adaptations to equipment this sport is accessible to all athletes with physical impairments including those with neurological impairment, spinal cord lesions and locomotors impairments. Bicycles, Tricycles and hand bikes are used by these athletes. Tricycles have gained in popularity, combining high quality racing or touring bicycle design with a wide rear base of support to facilitate the balance necessary for this activity. The choice of using a trike over a bike is up to the athlete but athletes with poor balance should consider using a trike for safety reasons. Alterations can also be made for those who favor one arm for gear shifting or who have limited mobility in the upper body or athletes whose limb length require specific alterations to the bike.
Depending on which classification the rider fits into there are a number of race distances including 1500 M, 3000 M, 5000 M, 10,000 M, and 20,000 M. Each event may require specialized training, because the balance of acceleration and endurance varies with each distance. Fairly new to bike racing in Canada is the implementation of road races, rather than the standard system, where at the start of an event racers are let go at 30 or 60 second intervals. The switch to the “pack” racing system offers a much more exciting racing atmosphere for both competitors and onlookers. One noticeable difference between able-bodied races and competitions that are adapted for disabled athletes is the fact that racers can only draft off competitors in the same classification group.
The categories in bicycling include classification for bike, trike and hand bike and are currently based on the type of impairment. SportAbility is working in partnership with Cycling BC and Cycling Canada to assist in the classification of Para-cyclists.
To get Involved in Para-cycling please contact SportAbility:
Vancouver, BC (locations change)
Weekly Program- Fall 2012