For the primary time in 16 years, Renee Junga is contemplating a return to aggressive downhill mountain biking.
Adaptive three-wheeled mountain bikes are giving individuals with spinal accidents the prospect to compete once more
The Downhill State Championships had been held at Willunga final weekend
Fans are hoping adaptive biking will likely be embraced on a nationwide degree
In 2006, she suffered spinal accidents when she crashed on the Mountain Bike World Championships at Rotorua in New Zealand.
“I obtained a bit too eager, overshot a soar and fell on my head and sustained a spinal cord injury,” Junga stated.
Now, lastly bike expertise has began to catch up, with adaptive three-wheeled bikes being produced the place the riders will be strapped to their seats.
“It is a sport changer,” Junga stated.
Junga travelled to South Australia from Queensland for the Downhill State Championships at Willunga final weekend to check out new bikes and trails.
“Seeing how a lot enjoyable everyone seems to be having using simply makes me need to give it a go once more,” Junga stated.
For Junga, who has been passionate in regards to the sport since she was a baby, the chance to experience once more was lengthy overdue.
“I did not experience any type of bike till two or three years in the past after I obtained my adaptive mountain bike,” Junga stated.
“After I had my accident in 2006, the expertise simply wasn’t there.
“It is like using a motorcycle, it simply comes naturally again, all of the enjoyable and adrenaline.
“My household are eager for me to get again in to it.”
Renee’s older brother Sam Howie — who’s a BMX rider himself — stated he’s completely satisfied to see his sister again within the saddle.
“It is her dwelling her life and her simply getting on the market and amongst it, that is all we might ever ask for,” he stated.
“I am simply pumped up, stoked for her.”
Junga has a transparent view to the long run.
“I simply need to be on a motorcycle. As quickly as there was a chance to get again on to it, I used to be in to it,” she stated.
Grant Allen returns to mountain biking
The advances in bike expertise have additionally given Australian Paralympic bicycle owner Grant Allen an opportunity to get again on to the dust of downhill tracks after his life-changing crash in 2011.
“The three-wheel bike is a large distinction by way of independence, security, the best way that it really works is much better,” Allen stated.
“It is that very same acquainted feeling of what it at all times was on a two-wheel bike, I am simply doing it on a distinct piece of apparatus now.
“Ten years in the past, one thing like this was not attainable … [now] I can exit using with buddies for in all probability the very best a part of three-to-four hours.”
For Allen, mountain biking has been an integral a part of his identification and getting again on the paths and hitting jumps together with his trademark type was solely a matter of the appropriate bike being developed and appropriate trails for adaptive riders being constructed.
“It is me, it is who I’m,” Allen stated.
“A life-changing accident would not essentially change you as an individual.
“I am nonetheless the identical particular person as I used to be earlier than and at all times will likely be.
“Using is one thing that’s ingrained in me and what I will at all times do. I missed it a lot.”
Occasion organiser John O’Brien grew up watching DVDs of Grant Allen using and now takes nice pleasure in providing the primary aggressive Australian adaptive downhill race.
“To develop up watching your idols racing, and now working with Grant and a few of the different massive downhillers on the planet, it is simply superb,” he stated.
Together with a staff of volunteers, he has labored on the monitor at Willunga to arrange for the state championships and the introduction of the adaptive downhill mountain biking self-discipline.
“It is probably the most favorite race venues in Adelaide, with massive vast open hills, excellent for adaptive bikes to start out on,” he stated.
With the most important ever contingent of entrants throughout all classes competing on this 12 months’s occasion, it has additionally meant they’ve a bigger pool of volunteers to name on.
Mr O’Brien stated the additional fingers have made the brand new adaptive self-discipline attainable with a view to holding a bigger, nationwide occasion subsequent 12 months.
“We have now the 2 adaptive racers this weekend, that was actually the goal, to have a pair, to study from our errors and begin motion [on a national round],” he stated.
Sights set on Commonwealth Video games
The probabilities of adaptive biking is one thing Grant Allen stated he’s eager to share.
“Maybe individuals who’ve by no means recognized how cool it’s to experience a motorcycle, simply because they reside with a incapacity it does not imply they can not expertise it and revel in it the identical manner an able-bodied particular person does,” he stated.
There are hopes it might even be embraced on a world degree with a debut on the Commonwealth Video games.
“I can see it being a factor the place there’s an adaptive downhill and an adaptive cross nation racing at that highest degree and it might be cool to see that in 10 years time Brisbane 2032,” Allen stated.
Renee Junga stated she was additionally hoping to indicate others who could also be contemplating the game what is feasible.
“I am eager to do a number of competitions and promote the game,” she stated.
“The extra individuals we will get in to the game, and present the probabilities that might be nice.”