Bobby McMullen, a blind mountain biker, is back for his second year, and he will be joined by triathlete and amputee Jordan Lea to compete and inspire participants in the event put on by Chico Velo.
McMullen was born and raised in Redding and has close ties to Chico. A survivor of diabetes and loss of vision as well as a two-time double transplant (kidney and pancreas), McMullen competes on downhill courses like Downieville and the Megavalanche on Alpe D’Huez following a guide rider. An inspirational speaker, McMullen encourages all to find the best within themselves.
“My goal is to increase awareness of, and appreciation for disabled athletes,” McMullen said.
Joining McMullen is Lea of Vancouver, British Columbia. A cyclist, triathlete and amputee, Lea is a survivor of non-Hodgkin lymphoma and a 10-year battle with costeomyelitis, which led to two amputations, first his foot and then below the knee. Lea has used competition as a motivator. In addition to training competitively and work among other commitments, Lea supports other amputees with one-on-one mentorships.
“It is my goal to show what is possible, and to motivate and mentor other amputees who might not have support to follow their dreams,” Lea said. “I believe the best success comes in the face of challenge, hardship and uncertainty.”
The Challenge Fondo offers timed routes and fun rides. Timed options include hilly 100, 65 and 50 miles, and a flat, fast 30-mile course. Leisurely rides include flat 20- and 3-mile fun rides that are not timed.
The longer races will start promptly at 8 a.m. at Durham Community Park. Course and the finish line will close at 5 p.m.
Pre-registration is open until 11:59 p.m. Wednesday, and on-site registration will be available Friday, and on ride day.
For more information, go to http://www.challengegranfondo.org.