Gear Shed

Motivated to Ride

Looking for a little inspiration for your next ride? Look no further than cyclist, triathlete, and double amputee Hector Picard.

    Photo: Kalmatsuy Tatyana via Shutterstock

Do you ever have those high-inertia days when you know you want to ride but it all just seems a little much? Maybe it’s threatening rain. Or your timeframe is tight and you’re worried that a ride will cut into dinner plans. Or perhaps your bike needs work before you can go out, a change of brake pads or a flat tire that needs fixing.

That happens to us sometimes, and occasionally we end up on the couch not the saddle. (We know, we know: Rule #5).

Tongue-lashing from the Velominati notwithstanding, this new video of double arm amputee Hector Picard changing a flat might just be the best motivation we’ve ever come across for such occasions. You think it’s going to be too much for you to get out? Picard virtually has to play a round of Twister to fix this flat. And he makes the repair with more skill and composure than most cyclists ever do. Makes us feel a little silly for all those tantrums we’ve thrown over the years when we couldn’t get a tire bead to seat on a rim.

It’s not just about the flat, either. We’re all-around impressed by Picard, who came back from an accident that would have put most of us down for good. At 26, while on the job as an electrician, he sustained a 13,000-volt electrocution, which left him armless, in a coma, and with burns over 40 percent of his body. Not only has he overcome those disabilities to become a successful age-group triathlete, but he’s also parlayed his situation into philanthropy, including a 3,200-mile ride this past summer to raise funds for Baby Jameson, an infant born without limbs.

Next time you stall out before a ride—or before you jettison a hand pump across the room in frustration over a hard-to-change tire—give a thought to Picard. We’re sure it would often have been a lot easier for him to skip the flat tire, skip the ride entirely, and stay sitting on his couch instead.

Oh yeah, now HTFU.

More at Outside

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