Development cycling camps to be held in Colorado Springs

March 08, 2010, 3:45 p.m. (ET)

Colorado Springs, Colo. - In partnership  with  U.S. HandCycling (USHF), Disabled Sports USA (DSUSA)  and U.S. Paralympics,  the United States Association of Blind Athletes (USABA), is pleased to host two Cycling Development Camps for Riders with Disabilities at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, CO.

Interested riders may apply for one camp, either May 17-23, 2010 or September (dates TBD). While the May camp is definite, the September camp approval is dependent on level of interest and available funding.

Cyclists with physical disabilities ages 16 and up are welcome to apply for this camp. Athletes will learn bike handling skills, safe riding techniques and road racing strategies.  Instruction in track riding will also be provided.

Athletes eligible for participation include UCI (Union Cycliste International) sanctioned classifications: blind and visually impaired cyclists and their sighted pilots who ride tandem bikes, cyclists with lower mobility impairments who ride hand cycles, cyclists with cerebral palsy or head injury who use both standard bikes and tricycles, and amputee cyclists who ride either single bikes or hand cycles. A special invitation is extended to disabled veterans and disabled members of the armed forces who sustained physical disabilities as a result of service in Operation Iraqi Freedom or Operation Enduring Freedom, and are encouraged to apply.

"This is an outstanding opportunity for cyclists who want to gain cycling knowledge and experience, and learn to race competitively," said Mark Lucas, Executive Director of the U.S. Association of Blind Athletes. 

Camp staff will include certified cycling coaches, a cycling mechanic and a camp coordinator. Several Paralympic cyclists will join rides and speak with attendees to share their knowledge and experience.

Riders attending camp will be on their bikes twice per day participating in skill drills, practicing safe riding techniques, competing in race simulations and attending lectures. "We will help network interested riders into their local riding and racing communities and provide a schedule of future race opportunities," said Pam Fernandes, camp coordinator and former Paralympic cyclist.

Whatever the outcome for each rider, the goal of the camp is to foster a passion and knowledge for riding and racing. After completing camp, some athletes will choose to become recreational riders while others will strive to become Paralympic champions. No matter which road athletes choose, the camp will open new opportunities for sports and recreation to people with physical disabilities. In the past, some camp attendees have gone on to become World and Paralympic champions and have set National, World and Paralympic records.       

Room, board and transportation to and from the airport will be provided by the U.S. Olympic Training Center as part of the camp.  Athletes will be responsible for their own travel arrangements and will be asked to pay a nominal fee to attend camp.

Riders are asked to bring their own bikes and gear to the camp.  Tandem riders are encouraged to bring their own pilots, but if needed, USABA will assist in finding pilots for visually impaired applicants.

The application deadline for the May camp is April 15, 2010. The deadline for the September camp is August 10, 2010 Applicants are encouraged to apply as early as possible as space is limited.

For more information or to request an application, contact Pam Fernandes at or call (781) 449-9563 (EST).  Information about the camp and an application can also be downloaded from the USABA web site at