Handicapped Athletes in Bike Racing

In bicycle racing, those with and without disabilities participate in events. Bike racing is a popular sport that has sponsored events o­n every continent. Participants compete according to age and ability levels in this sport.

The biking equipment can be modified to accomodate participants who are physically challenged or mentally challenged. For participants with disabilities that have reduced leg strength, the hands are used to power the vehicle. The design of most of these bikes is with two back wheels and o­ne in the front. The strong upper body strength necessary for these bike races in both the arms and shoulders is often gained through exercising with weights.

For participants with intellectual disabilities, modifications may or may not be necessary. If modifications are necessary, the maximum speed of the bike may be limited, straps may be used o­n the foot pedals, or hand brakes.

Bike racing events are classified in three main categories. Road racing, track racing, and mountain bike racing are the categories and have individual, team, and group participants.

Road racing events take place o­n paved or unpaved roads in urban or in rural settings. These routes are closed to traffic and can be up to 100 miles long. The participants in these racing events are divided into age and ability categories.

Track racing takes place in a banked facility called a velodrome. It is circular and has a circumference of 200 to 400 meters. Cyclists' speed reaches very high rates.

Mountain bike racing takes place using mountain bikes o­n rocky terrain. It is characterized by rugged terrain with many jumps and sudden drops.

Bike racing continues to be a popular sport that affords all whether working with a disability or not an enjoyable and rewarding way to enjoy the outdoors and stay fit at the same time.