Mountain Biking

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Mountain Biking

Making the transition from an able bodied mountain biker to an aMTB

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  • Posted by annijke
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    #6322

    Howdy folks! My name is Annijke Wade! I am a T5 with abs. I acquired my spinal cord injury in July of 2021 in a downhill mountain biking accident. Just a few days after my accident, I made the decision to return to mountain biking and set my sights on an adaptive mountain bike – the Bowhead Reach. I began to use all my free time researching adaptive mountain biking, trails and advocacy. Setting my sights on aMTB and off road cycling helped me accept my Disability and start to plan my new life. All of my recovery goals were centered around getting back outside on a mountain bike.

    When I got my bike 3 months after my accident, I had to learn to ride. My first 10 rides or so were really hard. I kept tipping over and I had a hard time balancing on my bike. I only had one lesson so I was really learning how to ride on my own. I was able to use my experience as a certified mountain bike coach to embrace the basic bike handling skills. Mentally, it was also hard – I used to be so much better – I could ride Black Diamond trails and jumps – here I was starting over again. It took a lot of patience learning a new sport. Some rides, I had to take a break to cool off because I was so frustrated. I always have to remember to safely progress my skills and most importantly HAVE FUN! It also just takes time learning a sport. The only way to get better at something is to keep doing it.

    I am now 2 years and 3 months from my SCI, and I’ve kept up with aMTB. It’s been such a journey. I am finally feeling more and more confident on the trails. Just last week, I went on my first Black Diamond Technical Trails! I’ve now ridden 2 Black Diamonds. This is a huge accomplishment to me. The best part is the trails I rode, are the types of trails I loved before my accident, rocky technical chunky trails! I feel like I’m finding my riding style and having even more fun on the trails.

    This year I also started to ride gravel too! I’ve done two gravel races and am gearing up for my third too. I just love to be outside in nature and moving my body. Riding off road is so freeing. My bike takes me places my wheelchair can’t.

    One of the things that’s helped me feel more comfortable is connecting with the aMTB community online and in person. It’s always been great to ride with other adaptive mountain bikers and share tips and tricks. I’m really excited for KBF Active Project because I want to connect with other folks to ride and progress our skills. It’s my goal this next year to find more people to ride with and make more friends in the adaptive mountain biking space. Send me a message if you want to connect off line and go for a ride!!

    Replies

    #6712

    Love it and keep crushing it and getting out there! Really looking forward to stepping up my aMTB game in the years to come. I’m a C5/6 quad.

    #6729

    Wow! You are very inspiring. I am a T7 complete as of March 2022. I have been looking into different ways to stay active like I was before I was hurt. Biking is something I haven’t tried but will definitely be looking into now after watching your videos.
    It’s great to connect with others who are like myself and keep pushing everyday!

    #6733

    It’s been amazing to see what @annijke has accomplished in such a short amount of time. You’re part of pushing progress for this community.


    @mbender
    What are you currently riding and where are some of your favorite places to ride?


    @amanda
    you should take a peek at Active Projects Member Map if you haven’t already. You might have an adaptive sports organization close by. If so, they might have a handcycle or AMTB program where you can see if it’s something you’d want to continue after injury. If there’s no organization close by, take a peek to see if anyone in your area who has their own equipment can introduce you to cycling.

    #6736

    @activeproject I’m riding and reactive adaptation Nuke with a rear power assist wheel. Right now just a local rails to trails path. Hope to try Tokul and some other trails.

    #6743

    Thank you! There are so many awesome resources I had not came across yet.

    #6747

    This is incredible! I’m hoping to get involved in aMTB. I’m a C6/C7 quad and hopeful to get a bike of my own. Watching you is very inspiring!

    #6755

    Great progress @annijke in a short time. I bet your balance, strength, and control will improve even more as you keep it up.

    #6768

    aMTB has been my favorite adaptive sport so far. I was into motocross and did some able bodied mountain biking before my SCI. It’s not quite the same, but still awesome to get outdoors and get some exercise in at the same time. I can totally relate to being good at something and then trying the adaptive version and not liking it at first. I played hockey before my SCI and it was so difficult to learn how to skate using a sled. Good for you for sticking with aMTB and getting to the point of being skillful again.

    #6770

    nreading all of these stories makes me want to take up mountain biking especially after looking at annijke’s instagram page. Wow, what a comeback! That is so wonderful! I have a cancerous tumor that keeps coming back. Evertime I get one it takes just a little more from me. But, I bought a little Terre Trek bike that I love and loved riding. After this last bout with my SC cancer I can’t get into or out of my bike by myself. So I can’t just go out and ride when I want to.

    By chance does anyone have any suggestions for me? I really want to ride and get into aMTB.

    #6790

    @dmb1 Awesome to hear you are interested in AMTB. Check the Active Project Map to find local organizations that offer AMTB or local AMTB riders who might be able to assist you. If you qualify, you can always apply for a KBF Path2Active Scholarship to help get you started.

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