Colorado Springs hand-cyclist efficiently drives Metropolis to enhance native path
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) — Colorado Springs is stuffed with stunning trails, and it may be simple to take them as a right. Nonetheless, Drew Wills actually will not.
“Attempting to get pleasure from this stunning surrounding that we’ve right here in Colorado Springs,” Wills stated whereas sitting on his bike. He cycles by areas in Stratton Open House at the very least 5 days every week.
However should you see Wills out on the path, you’ll shortly discover his bike is not like most others.
“It is the equal of a mountain bike for individuals who cannot use their legs,” stated Wills.
The 62-year-old Colorado Springs native workouts on an off-road hand cycle; he’s been a proud paraplegic athlete since a ski damage left him paralyzed from the waist down 15 years in the past.
Stratton Open House is his playground.
Earlier this 12 months he seen the paths have been being renovated, however the brand new renovations left elements of the path inaccessible to differently-abled athletes like him.
“Drew reached out to me final spring,” stated Dan Allen, path undertaking specialist with the Metropolis of Colorado Springs Parks and Recreation Division.
“He was having problem negotiating turns after which had our contractor make some enhancements to the path and make it extra rideable and extra satisfying,” stated Allen.
He’s thrilled that Wills reached out to him so they might make the changes.
“This was a studying alternative for me. I wasn’t fairly certain what a handcycle was or what it was able to so, what I realized from that have, we’re positively making use of to our path design,” stated Allen.
“It was a number of additional hours of labor however I really feel like, we need to make sure that all members of the group are welcome and out right here having fun with our open areas,” he stated.
Probably much more thrilled concerning the path renovations is Wills’ spouse, Jeanie.
“He has been distinctive, excellent, superb,” she stated, proud that her husband was main optimistic change for out of doors athletes.
“I am very blessed to have such an incredible man in my life,” she stated.
“He does extra with what he has than most individuals do with all that they’ve … Drew’s little motto is ‘you get busy livin’ otherwise you get busy dyin””
And, with the assistance of town’s Parks and Recreation workforce, Wills plans to maintain staying busy.
“I have been driving it since and having fun with it nearly on daily basis,” stated Wills.
“This was refreshing. I’ve to offer credit score the place credit score is due. They responded instantly,” he stated.
“If it is one thing you actually need to do, you may discover a strategy to do it … You could have to do it otherwise should you’re disabled however you possibly can nonetheless do it.”
Wills is a neighborhood lawyer and can be a board member for the Independence Middle, a basis that advocates for accessibility to get all individuals unbiased and lively. Wills was additionally the primary particular person to hand-cycle the Pike’s Peak Biking Hill Climb.