Clara Brown finishes a time trial race at UCI Para-Cycling Road World Championships. (Photo: Casey Gibson)
Every other week we scour the web for the latest going on in the world of U.S. Para-cycling. Here’s what you missed!
Brown, Pinney And Berenyi Celebrate Birthdays Within Days of Each Other
Clara Brown celebrated her 26th birthday on Nov. 3 by visiting Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston.
A week later, on Nov. 10, Ryan Pinney went exploring in the woods with his family for his 41st birthday.
Two days after that, it was Joe Berenyi’s turn to celebrate his 53rd birthday on Nov. 12.
The first two weeks of November were a festive time for the three members of the U.S. Paralympics Cycling national team. They enjoyed their birthdays in their own ways.
Brown, who made her Paralympic debut this past summer in Tokyo, wrote on Instagram that she underwent tests in Houston to try to figure out how to get her “aging body back to firing on all cylinders.”
She shared two photos of herself pedaling on a stationary bike at the hospital while having an electromyography (EMG) test, which measures muscle response to a nerve’s stimulation of the muscle.
“This is 26!!! Not exactly the dream birthday getaway hopping from hospital campus to hospital campus in the Houston area, but overall so dang grateful to have the opportunity to learn more about my body and to seek out some answers after a frustrating few months,” Brown wrote. “I mean come on, how sweet are the on the bike EMG photos?!?!”
Pinney, who earned a bronze medal in the mixed team relay at the Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020, recognized his birthday by posting a photo on Instagram of his daughter sitting on his lap as they trekked across a patch of wooded land.
“Cruising into this next trip around the sun with the best!” Pinney wrote.
The official Instagram account for U.S Paralympics Cycling celebrated Pinney and Berenyi during their birthday week. Berenyi is a three-time Paralympian who has earned one gold, two silvers and a bronze since 2012.
Para-Cyclists Recognize Veterans Day And The Marine Corps' Birthday
Several members of the U.S. Paralympics Cycling national team are military veterans.
For them, Veterans Day on Nov. 11 was personal.
In October 2009, Freddie De Los Santos was serving in the U.S. Army when a rocket-propelled grenade struck the vehicle he was riding in while in Afghanistan. The two-time Paralympian recalled how his unit has supported him, whether it was during the attack in Afghanistan more than a decade ago or at the Tokyo Games in August.
“They had my back. They really, really had my back. They had … my … back,” De Los Santos told USParaCycling.org. “My buddies, my unit guys, we are still as connected as we were when we served. I felt them when I was in Tokyo. I knew they were making sure I was ready to do my best. And there was no question I was going to give everything I had at the Paralympics, because I had to.”
Oz Sanchez, meanwhile, served in the U.S. Marines for six years and was twice deployed to the Middle East. He was preparing to become a Navy SEAL in 2001 when he injured his spinal cord in a motorcycle accident.
Sanchez, a three-time Paralympian, recognized the Marine Corps’ birthday on Nov. 10 by sharing a photo on Instagram from his military career. He posted a comment that included the Marines’ nickname, “Teufel Hunden,” which is German for “Devil Dogs.”
“Happy 246th to all my fellow Teufel Hunden’s‼” Sanchez wrote. “May we never forget those of our past, present and future… our legacy… to a warm embrace of the Suck. I love y’all #SemperFi”
Lehman Offers Advice When Shopping For a Bike
There’s a lot for someone new to Para-cycling to consider when shopping for a bike.
Since bikes come in different sizes, U.S. Paralympics Cycling national team coach Jim Lehman recommended cyclists go to a local bike shop to find a frame that fits them best. He also suggested cyclists ensure their bikes are set up properly.
Of course, price is also an issue.
“Just like when buying a car, you’ll discover that there is a wide price range when shopping for bikes,” Lehman told USParaCycling.org. “Generally, as the price of the bike goes up, the frame becomes lighter and stiffer, and the components are also lighter. A good entry-level road bike will start around $1,400 and you could use this bike to start training and racing.”