Sunday, July 19, 2009

Sweet Ride!


Yesterday was the kick off party for BORP's annual fundraiser, the Revolution. It was a great day, and as usual, I totally suck at taking photographs of humans. Hopefully, blog readers will notice the content of these images, not the composition.

In the photo above, you see just a few of the many disabled kids who are about to set out on a fun bike ride. Take a look at the variety of custom cycles! These are all available to anyone who stops by BORP's adaptive cycling center at the Aquatic Park in Berkeley. BORP maintains a lending library of over fifty different bikes, trikes and tandems, suitable for riders with disabilities.

Another view of the group of (mostly) kids, who are about to head out for a ride on the San Francisco Bay Trail. You can see some parents and siblings, as well.

This picture sums up a lot of what's so great about BORP. On the far left is Greg, who runs the adaptive cycling center. He's the mad scientist bike builder.

On his right are a group of young riders, and a group leader, about to head out for a morning of fun.

Next, is Our Protagonist. And over his shoulder is a woman whose name I didn't catch. She's a wheelchair user, and pretty sporty. However, she had not been cycling since childhood. A friend of hers suggested that she try out BORP's cycling program. She tried out three or four different machines, and discovered that she really enjoyed hand-cycling. She and her friend spent the morning zooming around on bikes.

There were loads of Serious Athletes riding to support BORP. Robb and I did not join this group. I stupidly forgot my bike helmet, so I didn't want to ride on the roads. And let's face it, neither of us are Serious Athletes. We spend a lot of time cycling, and have ridden hundreds (me) and thousands (Robb) of miles. But we also know our limitations. We don't try to ride with these guys, because we're not in their class. Robb has paralyzed legs, I ride a bike that was nice, but nothing special when I bought it ten years ago. We could never keep up.

We have our own good time, and that's what matters. We're only competing against ourselves.

This photo says a lot about the BORP experience, as well. A mom is giving her daughter a shove uphill. (This is the bike and pedestrian bridge over the 580/80 freeway in Berkeley.)

We saw a lot of parents, putting Herculean effort into helping their kids ride bikes yesterday. Many were riding on tandem bikes and trikes -- providing the power and balance for their kids.

One mom-and-son pair particularly caught my attention. He was riding an adaptive trike, but needed a lot of help. She straddled the front wheel and guided his efforts, all the while walking backwards as he pedaled. Her muscles must be aching, today. But I'll bet they're both really pleased with what they accomplished.

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