Oak Ridge is fast becoming known as a “human-powered sports” Mecca, and a new event scheduled for May 16 and 17 is serving to underscore that reputation.
The city will play host to the Tennessee Para Cycling Open, a racing event featuring competitors who are paraplegics, amputees, or otherwise physically challenged. There will be different categories of racers who will compete on conventional or adapted race bikes or hand cycles.
More than half of the competitors will be wounded warriors who were injured while serving in Iraq or Afghanistan, some of whom race for the Paralyzed Veterans Racing, which is affiliated with Paralyzed Veterans of America, a major sponsor of the event. Two racers—one from Cuba and one from Colombia—will lend an international flavor, a press release said.
Racers will compete in two events: a time trial on Saturday, May 16, staged from the Horizon Center on Highway 58 beginning at 8 a.m. and a road race on Sunday, May 17, beginning at 8 a.m.
There will also be a free clinic for individuals who are interested in competing in paracycling events beginning at 10 a.m. on Friday, May 15, at the Oak Ridge campus of Roane State Community College. A complete event schedule can be found at the following website: https://www.usacycling.org/register/2015-1333.
Here is a link to a New York Times story about one of the men who will be racing at the Para Cycling Open: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/12/nyregion/cyclists-embrace-a-handless-cuban-who-wants-to-race.html?_r=1.