Inspiration strikes around every corner. Life leads us to some interesting turns and opportunities. In my life I have had the chance to be around some pretty amazing people, and once again life has not let me down and has introduced me to yet another amazing, passionate, strong individual.
I recently started a new job at Sunshine Cycles, which is the best job I've ever had btw. I have met lots of cool people through work. But by far the coolest person is a man named Bryant Young. Bryant has one leg. He is an above the knee amputee, he only has a hip flexor in his left leg. His right leg is fully functional. A few years ago Bryant decided that he was going to show his children and everybody else in this world that would pay attention just what exactly living is for. Bryant decided to set a goal and do his damndest to accomplish that goal. Bryant decided to use his disability to inspire. He decided to get a bike. He walked into Sunshine Cycles and said, "I want a bike." John James and Dave Clark, two of my colleagues, talked to Bryant for several hours and they tried a few different combonations and eventually worked out a rig for Bryant to ride- it is a very nice Specialized Roubaix with a high end Shimano mix and some super fast Zipp 404s.
Bryant has been riding for several years now and is a stud. All of his power goes to the bike in one leg. The guy puts out like 550 watts or more. He does 20 minute intervals at 240 watts - with one leg. He climbs Paris Mt.- the local hill in G-ville, its like 2 miles long or something I'm not really sure but its more than I would do with one leg. He takes pulls at the Donaldson Center rides. He hangs with the group at the Hour of Power. He is amazing.
On one occasion, the first time I rode with Bryant, I was challanged to try to do a hill that Bryant does with one leg. The group came to the base of Oakleaf Rd or Dr. or whatever and I unclipped my left leg and let it dangle beside me. I began to climb with just my right leg, this isn't a very long hill but it's just long enough to experience immense pain and suffering- especially with one leg. I made it most of the way up the hill, that is until my front wheel jumped off the ground I tried to stop and unclip and I ended up falling down. The guy is strong!
Bryant has started a non profit organization called Amputee in Action. The purpose is to spread the word about amputees and their abilities and how they can do something athletic if they so choose. Bryant, for example, is going to compete in a TT at Nationals in Oregan and will hopefully make the National team or better yet he will be invited to spain for the World Championships. The guy is going to do something impressive regardless even if he just show up and wows everyone with his charm and wit.
To put it simply he's amazing, did i already say that? Check him out at http://amputeeinaction.org/ or come do the Saturday morning shop ride at Sunshine Cycles, we leave at 7:45am.