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Old 08-29-03, 04:48 PM   #1
Jonny B
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Wheelchairs on Velodromes?

I was watching a wheelchair race at the World Athletics Championships today (on TV, unfortunately), and it occured to me that wheelchair racing is more like cycling than running, yet it is considered athletics. Of course they do compete on roads (London Marathon for example), but wouldn't they be more at home on a banked boardtrack than a flat rubber one?

I'd very much like to see wheelchair racing alongside cycling, after all they use much of the same technology, and are essentially the same principal but a different shape. And having said that, they're not that dissimilar in shape to some recumbents (some of which are hand powered), and I've seen more than one trike competing in TTs. Surely they'd be better suited to our type of competitions (TTs, road races, pursuits etc).

Whilst I can't imagine ever seeing a Disabled Tour de France (200 miles a day on a bike is bad enough, and some of the climbs would kill even the strongest arms), I would love to see some paraplegic Velodrome action. The pursuit is such a simple-yet-effective concept it would work for pretty much anything, wheelchairs in particular. Ditto for time trials. And imagine if all the one day classics were proceded by a wheelchair race, complete with Pro teams (maybe even the same teams we all know and love) and big cash prizes.

Of course the biggest obsticle would be the UCI. Since they don't even let things like the Lotus bike in their races, they're never going to allow things with three wheels and no chains. If it were to ever happen to any great degree, the UCI and the wheelchair racing govourning body (assuming there is one) would have to at least work together if not merge. Having said that 'chairs and bikes would not be competing head-to-head, so maybe it's less of an issue.

Maybe I'm just nuts. Discus.
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Old 08-29-03, 06:03 PM   #2
CycleMagic
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Interesting thought! I imagine that w/c athletes would be interested in that. I know that in the states, there are w/c competitors in marathons, snowskiing, rugby (yes, only the truly crazy ones that have lost all sensation in their legs participate in rugby...they can't feel when they are crashed into by other players in w/c-true story, I had a friend that played w/c rugby...), tennis and I'm sure I'm missing some here.

A quick google check tells me that others have your same idea:
http://www.canadiancyclist.com/daily...9.18PM46.shtml and here: http://bcn.boulder.co.us/recreation/bcv/bcvsynopsis.pdf

maybe you can start something on your side of the 'pond'! Liz
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