Most people go to Thailand for a holiday. This July, twenty-one Victorians with and without disability will cycle 600km across the country’s highlands and coastlines in one week of riding.
Seven participants will be using handcycles; this form of cycling engages the arms rather than legs, using a three-wheeled recumbent bike.
The trip, known as CyclePower, aims to increase awareness about the sporting abilities of people with disability and raise money to support Victorians with disability participate in sport
CyclePower participant Sam Bramham explains “the ride isn’t an easy ask. There’s a lot of road to cover and not much recovery time, but we will work together to push on through the challenges.”
The ride will foster cultural exchange between the Australian group and Thai locals and provide education on the benefits of sport for people with disability.
The group will be joined by the Thai Cycling for Health Association for the first day of riding, covering 90kms from Surrathani to Khanom. They will also visit the Phuket Punyanukul School enjoying lunch and sports activities with over 300 pupils with special needs aged 7-18 years old.
Meet some of the riders
Gary is a 48 year old father of two with paraplegia who took up handcycling so he could ride with his children. Since then, he’s conquered some of Australia’s biggest bike rides.
Gary says he is motivated by sharing the benefits he has found in sport and recreation with others and says he loves to see the look on people’s faces when CyclePower rolls in to town as most people will have never seen a handcycle before or met such a diverse group of individuals cycling for change.
Shelley Chaplin and Leanne del Toso
Two members of the Australian Gliders Women’s Wheelchair Basketball Team are swapping their basketballs for bike helmets just one day after the Women’s World Wheelchair Basketball Championships, to join the ride for the second year in a row. Medallists at the Paralympics, these teammates have trained together for years and still find CyclePower the most rewarding and physically challenging event they have been involved in.
To learn more about Disability Sport & Recreation go to their Facebook Page.