Paralyzed Veterans of America – Thomas’ Mountain Bike Trip Journal

Mountain Bike Journey Through Crested Butte, Colorado

In August 2017, Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) invited Thomas Dahbura, owner of Hub Labels, to join them on a mountain bike trip to Crested Butte, Colorado. Over the next week, Thomas documented his adventure through the mountains of Colorado and the amazing crew of the PVA mountain bikers.

8/21/2017 – Day 1

The day started with a 3am wake up call. All packed and ready to go headed out the door at 4am BWI-DFW first leg. DFW-flight was on time and off to Montrie to meet Jody Shifler-the event organizer, Mark and Linda Power along with Luke and Brianna from the Adaptive Sports Center.
Off to Crested Butte 2 hour drive.

Arrived Crested Butte and all is well. Met all the athletes and got briefed by the ASC staff about the exciting week to come finished off with Pizza and water. Crested Butte is at 8880 feet. Nothing to mess with so water and NO booze. Skiing is one thing but mountain biking at this altitude should be exciting. The highlight of the briefing was finding out that one of the rides is a 2-1/2 mile hill climb and 1,000 feet of climbing. That will be a record for me and at this altitude should be interesting.
Monday is planned to get our bikes checked out and out for an easy 10 mile ride in the low country. Low country is above 9,000 feet. I’ll be working on getting used to using the go pros and adding footage to my diary.

8/22/2017 Day 2

Monday was about getting our equipment fitted out for the athletes and getting acclimated. We started with basic skills and they learned how to maneuver their wheels over various obstacles. Each athlete had different types of trikes as you will be able to tell from the video and each one came with their own challenges. The day was interrupted to watch the eclipse and gave us a chance to take a short break.

After lunch we ventured out for some riding around the town loop which got all the fellas out into the hills and gave us an opportunity to see the amazing vistas and challenge ourselves on the trail. The trail had its challenges but the most challenging was the lack of oxygen! No injuries despite a couple of crashes so the day was a success. As I get to know everyone I am inspired by their positive attitude and GRIT!

8/23/2017 Day 3

The long days and lack of oxygen really take a toll on the body but I am finally adjusting to the altitude. I have really been enjoying the fantastic views and taking in the incredible scenery. Check out my video of the day’s journey.

8/24/2017 Day 4

Did some great downhill work today. Really enjoying biking with the PVA team. One day left!

8/25/2017 Day 5

I made it to the last day. It will be tough going home after this and returning to normal life. Loved biking everyday and seeing such wonderful views of our great country. I couldn’t ask for a better group of people to be on this journey with me. I hope I get an opportunity to do this again. Quick question… Do I need to worry about reverse altitude sickness when I get back to Maryland? I know people get land-sick when they’ve been on a boat for a long time. Nah, just having some fun. Thanks for being with me on my journey.