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Posted on 30.11.2017
It was an answer that drew a lump to the throat of Hank Duchateau as he prepared himself to become the first rider to participate in the adaptive category at an MTBA National Series Cross-Country round in Armidale earlier this year.
For Hank, who has a spinal injury, being able to take part in mountain bike racing saved his life.
“I was ex-army, I was going downhill self-medicating with alcohol and medication and got to the point where I said, I gotta do something about this.”
“It’s taken me 20 years. 1993 is when I went into this chair. People were saying there’s not much you can do. Well I’m doing it.”
Hank is one of a number of adaptive mountain bikers who are not letting their disability hold them back, with more camps and events popping up around the country.
“People with disabilities like us have to join Mountain Bike Australia be a member, be a club member pay your dues.”
“It’s change from within instead of sitting on the outside and criticising and do nothing.”
“Join the club, join the association and have a go.”
“I’ve had a lot of opposition in places where they say it’s too hard why would you want to do this your a cripple. That’s why I think it’s so important and so grateful to Mountain Bike Australia to let me do this.”
For the 2018 an adaptive category will be part of the National Cross-Country Championships in Armidale in February as well as at Round 2 of the Downhill National Series in Awaba.
For more information on adaptive MTB head to https://breaktheboundary.com/
Mountain Bike Australia
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