Idaho cyclists of all ages and abilities can now connect with like-minded individuals who share a passion for cycling and a desire to support adaptive sports across the state.
The Idaho chapter of the Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF) launched the first statewide, multi-discipline, all-inclusive cycling club, Aug. 8 at the Ada-Eagle Bike Park here, and in Ketchum, Idaho.
CAF-Idaho Cycling Club members can take part in road, gravel or trail rides, virtually or in person, abiding by social distancing guidelines, using their own equipment including handcycles, tandem bikes, three- and four-wheeled recumbents, electric bikes, and uprights.
“Unlike traditional cycling clubs that are confined by geography and skill level, the CAF-Idaho club is for anyone, anywhere in the state,” said CAF-Idaho Director Jennifer Skeesick. “When we allow challenged and non-challenged athletes to ride together, we expand our community, our connections and our commitment to these treasured Idaho athletes.”
For challenged athletes in particular, the new cycling club provides an outlet for a unique population in Idaho to push themselves alongside cycling experts, other athletes and community members.
CAF-Idaho athlete Lance Pounds has cerebral palsy and coordination problems. He joined the group with a recumbent trike to put his strength and equipment to the test in a safe, supportive environment.
“The cycling club is building community for people who felt isolated even before COVID-19 was a household name,” Pounds said. “Not only that, but it is incentivizing people to safely play outside in Idaho’s natural playgrounds.”
The launch of the CAF-Idaho Cycling Club coincides with the 2020 Challenged Athletes Foundation Community Challenge, presented by Vega. The challenge is a multi-week, multi-sport event in which participants are invited to track miles between Aug. 8 to Oct. 18 to raise money for challenged athletes around the world.
“Whether we’re skiing, climbing or cycling, we all benefit from sharing something we love,” said CAF-Idaho Ambassador and Paralympian “One-Arm” Willie Stewart. “My hope is that through cycling as a team, we encourage everyone around us to experience the freedom of exercise and the impact it has on our well-being.”
Join the CAF-Idaho Cycling Club at https://www.challengedathletes.org/caf-cycle-club/.
About the Challenged Athletes Foundation
The Challenged Athletes Foundation is a world leader in helping people with physical challenges lead active, healthy lifestyles. CAF believes that participation in physical activity at any level increases self-esteem, encourages independence and enhances quality of life. Since May 2019, CAF-Idaho has awarded more than $231,500 in grants to more than 110 Idaho athletes for adaptive sports equipment, training and competition expenses. Whether it’s a $2,500 grant for a handcycle, helping underwrite a carbon fiber running foot not covered by insurance, or arranging enthusiastic encouragement from a mentor who has triumphed over a similar challenge, CAF’s mission is clear: give opportunities and support to those with the desire to live active.
To learn more, visit www.challengedathletes.org/idaho.