Park City, UT – 25 Miles
June 27, 2010
We started riding uphill for about the first 10 miles of this ride. I think the incline caused me to put most of my weight on the seat, because after about the first 3 miles, it became somewhat painful to remain seated. Unfortunately, at one point we had to load up in the vans and drive over a stretch of interstate that was unavoidable, but once through, we piled back out onto our bikes. Our first stop was lunch with one of the riders from last year, and his family. We’ll actually be staying at their house tonight. After lunch, we headed up to see the Olympic park, were we got to see a few people practicing freestyle ski jumping by ramping into a pool.
We only had a little over an hour to get back to our house for the night to change and shower up, and then headed to the National Ability Center. This is a place that offers some unique recreational activities for people with and without disabilities. First they showed us their ropes course, which believe it or not is wheelchair accessible. Then we were off to the stables to see the horses. They told us that when you ride a horse, the same neurons that fire in your legs while walking also fire while riding a horse, which makes it great therapy for people with disabilities related to their legs.
At the end of the day, a few of us got to climb their climbing wall, but they didn’t make it easy. We did an empathy climb, which in this case the climbers were blindfolded before heading up the wall. I didn’t get the chance to go before we left, but even watching the guys struggle to find the next hold made me a little bit grateful that I do still have my sight. We’ve got another day in Park City tomorrow, and will be heading back to this center to try a few more things out with some of their clients.
On another note, I want to thank my newest sponsor Professor Margaret Bayer from the University of Kansas for her donation. I’m glad to still have a lot of support from the mathematics faculty at KU even after being gone for a few years!