Three women’s cycling crowdfunders

One of the things that’s both frustrating and inspiring is pro athletes having to crowdfund to compete in their sport.  Frustrating, for obvious reasons, but inspiring because the fan community really helps them.  There are three very different ones running fro British women cyclists right now – Para-cycling, MTB and road racing, and here’s how you can help.

Hannah Dines’ Crowdfunder for a new racing trike

Hannah Dines is a Scottish Para-cyclist, who competed in the 2016 Paralympics in the tricycle road races.  She’s having a hard time right now – she recently lost her UK Sport funding, and on top of that, has had her racing trike destroyed, when her car was stolen and set on fire, with the trike inside it. As you can imagine, these both put a large dent in her goal of medaling at the 2010 Paralympics.

Her insurance won’t cover the cost of a new trike, so she’s raising the money herself – and anything she raises over her goal of £7,454 will be donated to the Neil’s Wheels bike shop, so that other disabled people can get their own specialised sports equipment.  The

Read more about her crowdfunder, and please do donate, if you can.  Follow Hannah on twitter, find out more about her in this articles by the Herald, read her blog about why ride a trike, and in this video about Rio, which also was crowd-funded, by handcyclist Karen Darke:

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Bex Baraona’s raffle to fund her racing the 2017 Enduro World Series

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Meet some of the 2016 Paralympic Cycling women – Part 5, Trike riders

screen-shot-2016-09-12-at-21-21-37As we’re into the Road Cycling races at the 2016 Paralympic Games, and unfortunately they’re not being streamed or broadcast, I’m writing about some of the riders competing in the Time Trials and Road Races.  I’ve looked at the Tandem pairs, C1-3 and C4-5 bike riders and the H1-3 and  the H4-5 Handcyclists, and now it’s time for the smallest Paracyling category, the tricycle riders.

The main reason a rider would use a trike is if she had a condition that affects her balance, for example Cerebal Palsy, Multiple Sclerosis, or a brain injury.  Some riders use bikes adapted to three wheels, and others are specially designed for racing.  racing trikes can be expensive, are heavier, and less maneuverable than 2 wheel bikes, especially taking corners and on any kind of off-camber surface – although watching the top tricyclists cornering is a thing of beauty.  There two subcategories of UCI trike riders, T1 and T2, with T1 riders more effected by their disabilities than the T2s, but their races are combined for the Paralympics, with only 1 gold.

The Tricycle Individual Time Trials are on Wednesday 14th September, and the Road Race is on Friday 16th, and I’ll tell you a little bit about the course underneath the rider information.  If you click those links, you’ll get the startlists, live timing for the ITT and hopefully for the Road Race too.

Let’s have a look at some of the riders racing trikes in Rio

Carol Cooke, T2, Australia

Cooke is a Canadian who had worked in the Police Force, including working with in an undercover drug squad, before moving to Australia in 1994 and taking citizenship.  She talks about how when she was first diagnosed with MS in 1998, she was told to basically prepared to die – you can watch a video about that, and how she coped with change.  But obviously she didn’t, citing cycling as what keeps her out of a wheelchair – and now she’s in Rio, aged 55, racing her third Paralympics

Her first was in Beijing, where she was a Para-rower, before switching to Para-cycling, after buying a trike “on a whim”, and winning gold in the mixed gender T1-2 ITT at the London Games.  As a born-and-bred Londoner, I love how she talked about 2012 in this video:

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The Paralympics – and why I don’t understand some cycling fans

I loved the Olympics, and was walking around in a daze of happiness, with a huge grin all over my face, and I always knew I’d love the Paralympics too, but I didn’t realise HOW much I would.  To me, it’s been even better, even more accessible, even more inspirational.  Part of that is down to Channel 4’s really excellent coverage of the Games, which emphasises the stories and personalities of the athletes, and (to me) gets the tone exactly right, balancing explaining the disabilities and the sports with celebrating the achievements with making sure we all know how damn hard these people have had to work to get here.  So I’m very happy – but I’m also genuinely confused about what it seems to be showing about some British cycling fans.

I stress British, because I know some countries – notably the USA – aren’t showing the Paralympics at all, and that’s just shitty for fans and disrespectful to their amazing athletes.  If you’re in a country that’s not showing these excellent Games, check out Channel 4’s youtube.  It’s Brit-centric, understandably, but it’s full of highlights videos.  As a start, here’s Sarah Storey winning the C5 Individual Pursuit on day 1.

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