To help people with new disabilities, or people wanting to try something new for the first time, we have compiled a short list of regular off-road riders from around Australia. Everyone has an amazing and different story to share and hopefully their stories help motivate people to get active and break their own personal boundaries!
Prior to my accident mountain biking was the most important thing in my life and I was just starting to get fast.
I went from being in the top 10% in competitions like the Cape to Cape and being focused on flowing through smooth fast lines, to being one of the slowest and just trying to get through.
That said, I just need to focus on different things and it is a great feeling – that sense of accomplishment – and I seem to be an inspiration to other people and mountain bikers alike.
Now I am developing one of the first Australian All-Terrain Handcycles under my new business, Advantage Handcycles.
A wild-child that enjoys outdoor adventures, Conor never let his motor bike accident in 2014 stop him from continuing the adventures. From wake-boarding, to off-road 4WD and road cycling, he continues to experience new and exciting thrills. Only 1 year from his accident and at the age of 23, he managed to become the first ever Australian to complete a MTB stage race on a handcycle. He's gutsy efforts continue to impress everyone and is a key participant in ongoing adaptive MTB races in Western Australia.
Campbell's passion for the outdoors has lead to him helping others with disability enter the Australian wilderness. As a specialist in the area, he continues to find new challenges in his spare time, either on his sit-skii or off-road handcycle. Cambo has a wealth of knowledge that spans many industries in Victoria and is a great resource for anyone who is interested in tackling the recreational and leisure activities in local areas.
The 'new kid on the block' is a grose understatement when this bad-ass chick gives the boys a run for their money on the handcycle. After arriving from the UK 10 years ago, adaptive MTB didn't exist in Perth, WA. After coming across Break the Boundary, the flood gates were open and now she can't get enough of the dirt, mud and awesome nature that WA has to offer. Being the first adaptive female rider in 2016 to take part in any official MTB race, she continues to look for the next trails to conquer.
Coffs Harbour, NSW
In 2014, Hank, with the help of his wife Diane, created an Adaptive Sports and Recreation program which continues to help people with disabilities. Tucked away in the Northern coastline of NSW, Hank has brought sports and recreation to a group of people who many have otherwise been overlooked! He has become an active advocate and socially connected hand cyclist in both road and off-road, continuing the growth of handcycling.
“I always say that this program will give people a reason to get up in the morning and that they will start to think about what they can do in life instead of what they can’t do.”
Growing up in western Canada I spent my winters skiing and Summers Mountain biking. After a Spinal cord injury in 2004 the adaptation into sit skiing was pretty straight forward, but there was not a lot available for adaptive Mountain biking after moving to Melbourne in 2013 I got connected with Campbell Message, took part in the first mountain bike race in Australia with an official category, and got an Explorer 3 in 2015. My favorite thing about mountain biking is going out with my two kids and sharing the sport and outdoors experience I love with them.
Coming from a motor cross background, Marcel finds himself at home shredding off-road tyres through the Australian dirt. Whether it's a 3 meter jump on his dirt bike, or skipping table-top jumps on the loose gravel in his handcycle, he'll take on almost anything that a trail can throw at him. He also enjoys spending time with his family camping in the Aussie bush and taking any opportunity just to be outside. A regular attendee at social rides in the Perth region, Marcel continues to take part in a mix of handcycling opportunities.
For anyone wishing to connect with someone internationally when travelling, or to simply follow some cool people doing cool things around the world, check out these guys and gals.
Dave "Madman" Poole is an adventure athlete changing perspectives on what is possible. Believing that if you want something bad enough you will try, and if you fall down you get up and try harder.