T Nation

Cyclist with No Arms Trains for Paralympics


Truly an inspiration.

The Long Hard Ride of Damian Lopez Alfonso

Published: June 9, 2011

WITH only the tips of his elbows touching his bicycle's upturned handlebars, Damian Lopez Alfonso pedaled along the Hudson River bike path on a cool March day. His balancing act elicited stares from disbelieving pedestrians and curious double-takes from fellow cyclists

Because not only does Mr. Alfonso ride his bike without forearms, lost in a devastating childhood accident, but he also rides it very, very fast.

Tracy Lea first witnessed his unorthodox cycling method during a race outside Havana nearly eight years ago.

Ms. Lea, a former elite racer from Maryland, found herself in a ragtag pack of riders on a highway pocked with car eating potholes outside the Cuban capital. I'm worried about these guys in tight, fast conditions, she remembered thinking, and all of a sudden, I'm racing next to a guy with no arms!