Here’s a story that neatly ties the conclusion of Limb Loss Awareness Month on April 30 with the beginning of National Mobility Awareness Month and National Military Appreciation Month, which both start on May 1. Army veteran Steve Martin will call attention to limb loss, mobility, and military service all at once this summer as he becomes the first bilateral amputee to pedal coast to coast on an unmodified bicycle.
Martin will preview the trip this Friday, April 30, on the latest installment of “Ask Aaron,” hosted by Ottobock customer engagement specialist Aaron Holm. RSVP for the event at this link, and tune in at 1 p.m. Eastern / 10 a.m Pacific on Facebook Live.
Dubbed “Choosing to See: The Ride of a Lifetime,” the 3800-mile trip will be latest in a succession of big-time challenges for Martin. He previously has hiked the Grand Canyon, summited Kilimanjaro, completed 18 marathons, and served as the first and only bilateral amputee ever to serve as an Arizona state trooper. Although he likes to push his endurance to the max, Martin doesn’t believe extreme athletics are the only way for amputees to stay fit. Quite the contrary. “My message is to get off the couch,” he says. “Just get out there and do something.”
Martin will be joined on the ride by another Army veteran and highly accomplished adaptive athlete, former Paralympic cyclist Shawn Cheshire. Although she is completely blind, Cheshire will ride her own bicycle, following an audio signal provided by her longtime guide cyclist, Jesse Crandall. Martin will ride at the rear, and all three cyclists will wear Bluetooth devices so they can share a running description of the road ahead: surface conditions, elevation changes, weather, hazards, and so forth.
If you live along or near their route, come out and say hi when they pass through. The riders start pedaling east from the Oregon coast on May 17 and expect to reach Virginia Beach, Virginia, in mid-July. Follow their progress on the Choosing to See website.