By Erica Davis
Hand-cycling for me is the equivalent to most people riding a bike. People either see someone riding a racing chair or a handcycle. The racing chair is what we use for the run portion in a triathlon. There are different body positions for both of these types of equipment.
On the handcycle, most riders are low to the ground and extend their legs straight out front of them while their backs are leaned back. Sometimes people make comments at us about taking a nap, which is definitely possible. :) We also get a lot of stares and comments from kids who say how cool our bikes look or tell their parents that they want one. If they only knew…
So unlike when you're riding a bike and your legs turning in two motions, our arms go together. You won't be able to see that in the picture, but you will be able to see the position I am in. Because the muscle you have to put into powering a handcycle requires your arm muscles, which are much smaller than leg muscles, we typically do not go as fast. The only time we really kick it into high gear- speed wise- is, you guessed it, on a downhill.
Speaking of hills, uphill is definitely not our strong suit. And please people, if you see us out riding, the smart ones of us will use a flag but there's not a whole lot more we can do. I know that I always look out for all cars in case they are not looking out for us but you never can be too careful.
My mission is to get to get out there and ride and have fun. If this is how it is of how we get to be out and ride, then we take the risk just like any other cyclist. But we do what we can just like we all do in order to have fun, train, and race.
Enjoy the ride people, Enjoy the ride.