NAC holds premier adaptive cycle fest
Disabled cyclists of all walks and rides of life will converge on Park City this weekend for four days of training, instruction and fun at the National Ability Center’s (NAC) third annual national Adaptive Cycling Festival.
The event, which will be held June 22-25, is designed to give adaptive cyclists the opportunity to learn from experts in the field and experience Park City numerous roads and paved trails.
According to NAC Outreach manager, Brooke Hafets, the festival is the most comprehensive adaptive cycling event in the country. Other facilities hold short clinics, but only Park City features four days focused on all facets of adaptive cycling.
"This is one of the only festivals set up like this," Hafets said. "It’s the best opportunity to train in high altitude and attend professional clinics."
With the festival’s uniqueness, Hafets is expecting handcyclists from across the country to attend. Participants will go on two rides per day and attend various clinics. There will be beginner, intermediate and advanced levels for all ages. Instructional sessions will include topics such as bike maintenance and cycling techniques. Salt Lake nutritionist Holly Wilkens will lead a clinic on proper diet.
Headlining the festival is 2004 Paralympic handcyclist Seth Arseneau. The paraplegic is a strong supporter of programs for disabled children and was excited to be a part of one of the NAC’s program.
"He’s pretty active in different children’s groups and getting the word out," Hafets said. "He says he’s inspired by the will of disabled children."
Arseneau will teach instructional seminars and lead training sessions.
Another highlight will be Saturday’s Adaptive Bike Expo, a free event, which will include a number of adaptive bike manufacturers offering equipment demonstrations, as well as running concurrently with the 12 Hours of Endurance Bike Race. The simultaneous events will allow disabled and able-bodied cyclists the opportunity to watch an exciting race and well as learn more about adaptive bicycles. Vendors will be available to order any adaptive cycle.
Among the bikes that will be displayed at the expo, will be handcycles, for those without use of their lower limbs, tricycles for those who struggle with balance and tandem bikes for blind riders and their guides.
The adaptive bikes are designed for road cycling and Hafets said that the festival contingent will most likely be found on the Rail Trail for much of the four days. Hafets also added the able-bodied public is welcome at the bike expo. There will be food available and the 12-hour race should provide a lot of entertainment.
"It’s usually a good time and an excellent learning experience all around," Hafets said.
For more information, please call (435) 649-3991 or visit http://www.nac1985.org.
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