Sep 18, 2009 11:05 AM by Jessica Michaels
Riding a bike up the steep inclines on Gold Camp Road is a tough feat for any athlete, let alone one with a physical disability. On Thursday, athletes with visual impairments--spinal cord injuries, amputations, head injuries, and cerebal palsy--hit the pavement as part of the annual "Learn to Race" Cycling Camp.
The camp is hosted by the United States Asociation of Blind Athletes. It gives athletes with physical disabilites a chance to learn advanced bike handling skills and road racing strategies.
Carly Waugh is paralyzed from the waist down. She encourages people to be active, regardless of their physical limitations. "Don't let your limitations stop you from getting out and trying new things. If you don't have an outlet, get the phone book out and start there. There are all kinds of sports, even if you don't like cycling."
Pam Fernades, Camp Director, says this is a great opportunity for disabled athletes, "For a lot of these athletes, they don't have an opportunity to ride with other people with disabilites, and what we establish here is a community of athletes that stay in touch online. So what you'll find is that many of these athletes are friends on Facebook, and they'll plan to do races together in the future."
If you are interested in participating in the camp next year, contact the United States Association of Blind Athletes. You can also reach them by calling (719)630-0422.