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Snocross Racer Builds Bionic Knee

Posted on: September 16th, 2014 by Pulse

snocross racer

A rising star and a serious injury

Mike Schultz calls himself Monster Mike, and was one of the rising stars in snocross, a wintery variation on motocross racing that uses a snowmobile on snow and ice.  After earning the World Power Sport’s Association Most Improve Pro for the 2006-2007 year, he won first place in a major race in Iceland, and competed in 6 Winter X-Games between 2002 and 2008.

Mike’s story might have simply stopped there, with him continuing to excel in the snocross field, and fulfill his dream of being on the biggest racers in the world. However, in December 2008, while taking part in a race in Michigan, he was thrown off his sled, and suffered a very severe compound fracture of his left knee, requiring amputation of his leg, an injury most people would have considered tragic and career ending.

Finding a way to get back on the snowmobile

However, Mike’s love of his active lifestyle was too strong to let his injury force him to get rid of his dirt bikes and snowmobiles.  He explored existing lines of prosthetic limbs, and found that, while they might have been ok for people who just want to be able to walk and perform simple tasks, they wouldn’t survive the rigors of doing what he loved.  Using engineering knowledge gained from repairing trains in Minnesota, insurance money from his injury, and some help from his sponsor FOX racing, Mike developed the Moto Knee.

The Moto Knee is a simple to manufacture prosthetic knee with the range of motion and tension that makes it possible to engage in intense physical activity. The Moto Knee has a series of compressed air springs, working like a shock absorber to be very adaptive to different levels of resistance.  While traditional prosthetics can’t bend past 90 degress, the Moto Knee can bent 135 degrees, allowing for a much fuller range of motion.

This extended range is necessary when allowing him to pop back up after having to squat to support his weight on a high jump.  With a prototype Moto Knee, it only took 7 months for Mike to get back into racing, winning the silver medal in adaptive motocross at the 2009 X Games, and the gold as at Snowcross at the winter games.  A lot of people who had suffered an injury like Mike’s may have been told they would never be able to engage their passion for extreme sports ever again, but Mike’s ingenuity offered a hopeful way to be able to move freely again, and reimagine what is possible for disabled athletes.

Expanding the Moto Knee to others

It didn’t take too long for other people to become very interested in the exciting possibilities of the Moto Knee, and so in 2010, Mike Schultz launched Biodapt, a company that manufactures Moto Knees to anyone wishing to have a bionic knee that can come closer to withstanding the rigors of an active life.  One very exciting feature of the Moto Knee is its customizable features. It’s different parts can be adjusted to meet the unique needs and passions, allowing snowboarders, horseback riders, water-skiers, and people wanting to engage in many other types of physical activity to adjust.

Aside from extreme sports enthusiasts, another group that has found Mike’s Moto Knee very helpful have been veterans. Wayne Waldon, who lost his right leg in to a bomb blast in Iraq, was even inspired to get into snowboarding because the Moto Knee made it possible.  Mike Shultz, in addition to continuing to be a great racer, is now also an award winning inventor, and has sold over 100 prosthetics uniquely tailored to a active lifestyle.  That represents more then 100 people who have received an expanded sense of hope in what is possible for them.

photo credit: jaydrogers via photopin cc

Base Jumping Reaching New Heights

Posted on: September 9th, 2014 by Pulse

…Or should that be ‘Falling to new depths’?  For people driven to experience an adrenaline rush coming face to face with nature in all its gritty glory, sometimes the old way of doing things isn’t going to cut it, and we need to create new, innovative variations on a theme.  For example, snowboarding evolved out of skateboarding, surfing, and skiing.)  Likewise, base jumping exists for people who find jumping out of an airplane not quite daring enough. Base jumping involves using a parachute to leap off both natural and man-made objects. It presents few action-packed seconds that may be the closest a mere mortal will ever get to what Buzz Lightyear called “falling with style.”

Actually it’s B.A.S.E. Jumping

base jumping

 

The first person insane or awesome enough (take your pick) to attempt a base jump was Carl Boenish, who in 1978 successfully landed from El Capitan, a massive rock outcropping in Yosemite National Park. He and fellow base jumping pioneers created a system of different things they could jump off, with a goal of completing each type of jump. The name came from B.A.S.E. – an acronym for each jumpable surface from which the jumper will leap.

Buildings

Antenna towers

Spans (bridges)

               Earth (natural formations like cliffs, canyons, and gorges)

As one might imagine, this sometimes involves some sneaking around and illegal trespassing, but base jumping events are beginning to find some official sponsorship, and there are a few places where base jumping is encouraged.  The Kjerag mountain in Lysefjorden, Norway is one such spot.

Signs of emerging popularity

What was once almost an exclusively illegal and underground activity is beginning to get more mainstream attention and official sponsorship.   One of the largest base jumping event is Bridge Day, where as many as 800 people have 6 hours to jump off West Virginia’s New River Gorge Bridge as many times as they can.

Everyone who makes all four jumps can get assigned a base number, with Base #1 going to Phil Smith in 1981. Currently, there are around 1,800 people with official base numbers, and this doesn’t account for the hundreds of enthusiasts either trying, or not seeking recognition through official channels.

Wingsuits, a full body jumpsuit that gives the body more lift and allows for more floating away, has increased the possibilities for what a jumper can do once he or she is in the air. 2012 saw the creation of the first professional team, the World Windsuit League, that uses windsuits to do “base racing,” in which jumpers raced between two points in China.

How to base jump, and what you need

Be aware that base jumping is among the most dangerous recreational activities in the world. A 2007 study of a base jumping site in Norway found that every 1 in 2,317 jumps ended in death.  Thus, it should not be attempted until you have already had a great deal of experience with skydiving. Generally, base jumping with an experienced mentor only takes places after 100 regular skydiving jumps.

Since you will be leaping from shorter distances, there’s a lot less time to deploy a parachute; there are only about 5 seconds of free-fall available. Most modern base jumpers use specialized base jumping parachutes, with a rectangular ram-air chute that allows more control over direction and speed.

Another option, particularly useful with jumps less then 300 feet, a static line that will deploy automatically is used instead.  Jumping takes place facing down, using the natural aerodynamics of the body to “fly” away from the object, to avoid hitting anything on the way down.

photo credit: hakonthingstad via photopin cc

X-Games Goes to Mongolia

Posted on: September 5th, 2014 by Pulse

extreme sports

The new and exciting world of extreme sports is continually expanding as more and more people are discovering how exciting adventures and communities come out of skating, boarding, and biking.   Exhibit A for how fast this growth is happening should be the X-Games. What began in 1995 in Newport, Rhode Island with (according to ESPN.com) 500,000 spectators has grown into a phenomenon too big for one country to handle.

Global youth culture continues to inspire people from all over the world to get into these sports for themselves, brining the adrenaline to their own cultural context, and the X-Games have had to find new environments to meet the growing demand. 2013 was the first year of X-Games in Shanghai, China and Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil as the action expands globally.  Most recently, the games have expanded further into Mongolia, a landlocked country in east-central Asia between China and Russia.

This year, the Mongolian X-Games took place in the capital city of Ulan Bator, as 12 professional skateboarders traveled from Europe and Japan alongside thriving local interest, as together they filled the city’s Central Square. Alongside a monument to Chinggis Khaan, who once ruled over the world’s largest empire, the country’s youth found new opportunities to bring shred to the a rich heritage of ancient buildings and numerous mountain peaks.

Beginnings of X-Games Mongolia

This most recent event on August 17, 2014 was the most recent of three X-Games events in Mongolia.  It started on October 19, 2013, when Dagina Khot, the Mongolian Extreme Games Club cooperated with local NGOs and the government’s Cultural Authority to respond to the high level of popularity of innovative outdoor activities among the youth around Ulan Bator.

Not just an opportunity for professionals to “show off,” the Games had a real impact on Mongolia’s economy and culture, most notably impacting the government to work towards building a 143.7 km bicycle road to and around the city, which, when completed, will go a long way towards improving air and traffic quality.  The overwhelming success of this initial event led to a Winter X-Games held just a few months later, in December 2013.  Nikle Ganbaa, a local company that manufactures bicycles and mopeds has seen a dramatic rise in business, as more local youth are exposed to the adventures riding can provide.

The 2014 Summer Mongolian X-Games

Announced as a celebration of Mongolia’s 375th year as a nation, the local X-games featured from noon to 9:00 p.m., popular Mongolian bands playing alongside freestyle and high-jump contests in skateboarding, rollerblading, and BMX.  The four competitions drew 80 competitors.  One skateboarder Erkhembileg, was only 11 years old. One female skater participated for the first time, a highlight that will hopefully pave the way for many others in a traditionally male dominated culture and field.

BMX in particular is a new sport to most of the Mongolian enthusiasts; it’s sometimes been a challenge to find ways to keep practicing in the long winters, but a small core of enthusiasts are helping their passion to spread. There were a few foreign visitors, most notably the American pro skating team Carhartt Work in Progress that put on a demo show as part of the festivities.  However, at its core, this was a local, wholly Mongolian event, showcasing how local youth are enthusiastically getting into and building their own scene.

According to the event’s Facebook page the winners in each category were Bayrhuu and Tengis for skating,  BMX: Huslen in BMX, Ariunbaatar in trail biking.  One of last years’ winners, Turmunkh was overwhelmed by how youth have been so excited and inspiring. While he had to learn how to ride from online videos made in far-off countries, he now has a large group of young riders who he can teach personally.  Mongolia is thus a very exciting scene of motivated riders, and one that can only keep growing.

photo credit: Gamma Man via photopin cc

Ohio Dreams Action Sports Summer Camp Provides Training For Going Big

Posted on: August 25th, 2014 by Pulse

Ohio Dreams Action Sports Summer Camp offers the perfect summer adventure for kids who want to learn more about extreme sports and train to become a professional one day. Located in Butler, Ohio, the camp features week-long camp sessions that teach different skills for extreme sports. Campers get to spend all day enjoying their sport under the watchful guidance of experts.

Ohio Dreams Sports

Camp Sessions

The week-long summer camp sessions at Ohio Dreams Action Sports Summer Camp are for children between the ages of 7 and 17. There are eight sessions throughout the summer months, and each session is limited to 100 campers. Keeping the sessions small ensures each camper receives plenty of time to learn with one-on-one training in his or her sport of choice. The camp has a five to one camper to counselor ratio, providing plenty of attention to each camper.

There is also a four-day session for adults to come and have a similar experience.

Activities

The main activity is the various extreme sports, including BMX racing and freestyle, skiing, snowboarding, scootering and skateboarding. The camp features 66 acres of activities, including indoor ramps, foam ramps, and trampolines, where campers spend most of their day learning and practicing their sport of choice. Examples of activities include learning how to grind rails over stairs, new tricks on indoor foam, or working on a trampoline.

The campers have sessions where they learn about the sport, and open sessions where they can practice what they have learned. Campers can concentrate on one sport, or they can participate in more than one. If campers are going to participate in more than one sport, they need to bring all equipment with them. The campers are taught by highly trained staff and visiting pros from sponsoring companies in the various sports.

In addition to the sports, the camp also features the famous Slip N’ Fly that is only open to people between the ages of 7 and 17 during camp. This is a long slide and ramp that leads into a pool. It plays a significant role in each session, and it features in the year-end Sports and Music Fest, where people over the age of 18 can play on it.

There is also free time, rest time, and time just to enjoy the pool during the day. Every evening, the campers also participate in a fun activity.

Amenities

The camp is located in the Mohican forest area in mid-Ohio, providing a beautiful atmosphere in which to stay and play. Campers stay in dorm style lodges. There is also a pro shop on the grounds, so if there are any equipment malfunctions, campers can get replacement parts so they can get right back into the action. There is also an Athlete Lounge that offers refreshments and a cool place to relax and watch videos between sessions.

End of Summer Bash

Every year, Ohio Dream Action Sports opens up the Slip N’ Fly to the public for a legendary bash that draws people from all over. There is music and opportunities to enjoy the Slip N’ Fly, but only for those over the age of 18. It is a fun way to say goodbye to another summer at the camp. This event is the only time the ramp is open to the public.

Ohio Dreams Action Sports Summer Camp offers a great experience filled with fun, adventure, and training. It provides a safe atmosphere to learn, and all staff members have gone through first aid training. Attending a session, or two, will help anyone become a better athlete in his or her chosen sport. For those hoping to one day turn pro, it offers a great opportunity to get one-on-one instruction from the pros to take their talent to the next level.

photo credit: familymwr via photopin cc

UK To Put On Scootfest 2014

Posted on: August 22nd, 2014 by Pulse

Scootering

Scootfest 2014 is set to take place over two weekends in August in the U.K. Scootfest is an annual event celebrating the sport of scootering. The 2014 event launches a brand new multi-site event taking place over two weekends that provides a variety of events for the scooter fans in the U.K. This year’s event also includes the 2014 ISA World Championship competition. This is the second year that Scootfest hosts the ISA World Championships.

What is Scootfest?

Scootfest is an annual event celebrating the sport of freestyle scootering in the UK. It takes palce over a weekend and features competitions for amateurs and professionals alike. It also provides opportunities for people of all ages and skill levels to try out the sport on impressive skate parks. There is also music and other activities for scooter enthusiasts to enjoy between competitions.

Two Sites, Two Weekends

This year, the activities of Scootfest are spread out in two weekends in two different locations. This provides the opportunity for more people to come to the event, and for twice the entertainment for those who can make both. The first weekend of Scootfest 2014, called Scootfest North, will be held at Rampworx in Liverpool on the 9th and 10th of August.

The second weekend, Scootfest South, takes place the following weekend, the 16th and 17th of August, at Rush Skate Park in Stroud. Both events feature events for all age groups and skill levels, but they have different focuses and unique opportunities, making them two separate and distinct events. People can choose to only go to one, or they can enjoy attending both and still feel they have experienced something different.

Scootfest North

Rampworx Skatepark features 70,000 square feet of ramps, providing the perfect setting for Scootfest North. One of the main highlights of the weekend will be the UK Championships, which provides a space for the best of the British Isles to compete for a place in the ISA World Championships.

There will also be a superstar lie-up of 12 of the biggest names competing for the International Best Trick, including Dakota Schuetz (two time world champion) and Lewis Williams (current European Champion). Everyone can enjoy riding in the Scootfest Am Jam, including children. There will be a dedicated kids ramp build especially for the weekend that will be free to use for small children and beginners.

Scootfest South

Rush skate park is a brand-new park featuring five parks in one, and there will be two additional parks added for the event. The park has Street Plaza, Park section, Bowl, Resi jump box and foam pit, and a dirt park. It is the only park like it in the UK, and for the event Scootfest is adding the Scootfest G Ramp and Kids Park. The main event at Scootfest South this year is the ISA World Championships, which will have 50 of the best professionals vying for the title.

There will also be International Streets Sessions competition, and an Am Jam for all riders to enjoy. The Scootfest South will be similar to the original Scootfests, featuring a Scooter Trade Village, music, and offsite camping. This year, there will be a Parent’s Lounge, providing a comfortable place for the parents to relax while their kids enjoy the festivities.

Scootfest 2014 promises to impart an exciting and entertaining event for visitors and competitors alike. Scooter enthusiasts can enjoy watching the elite competitions, potentially learning a few new tricks. Amateurs can compete in the Am Jam, providing them with the chance to be spotted and turn pro. Even beginners can compete in the event, allowing them to feel the excitement of competition. All ages and skill levels can easily find some activity to enjoy during the event.
photo credit: jessiejacobson via photopin cc

 

Red Bull Now Airing Extreme Sports Competitions

Posted on: August 18th, 2014 by Pulse

Red Bull

The energy drink Red Bull has long had a relationship with extreme and adventure sports. The famous tagline, “Red Bull gives you wings” is often used in commercials, and imparts the adventurous spirit the company supports in a variety of areas. Since 1992, there has been an annual Red Bull Flugtag, which has flying competitions in more than 35 locations around the world where people compete to see who can fly the furthest in homemade flying contraptions. When the first person decided to sky dive from space, Felix Baumgartner, Red Bull was there as a sponsor. Red Bull also sponsors several extreme sports competitions.

It was only a matter of time before Red Bull would bring these competitions to air on its own channel. With Red Bull TV, extreme sports enthusiasts can now watch live events and associated content on mobile devices, computers, selected smart TVs, video game consoles, and other devices.

Red Bull Signature Series

Cable television, along with limited prime time spots, has provided space for Red Bull events for a few years. In 2011, Red Bull and NBC created a partnership to air Red Bull’s Signature Series. This partnership included Red Bull running and producing the events and NBC Sports airing 20 hours on their channels, which included some spots on NBC. The initial deal in 2011 had NBC airing 20 hours and NBC Sports airing 15 hours. However, in 2012 Red Bull found another cable outlet and signed a three-year deal with Fox that included their airing 180 hours of live and highlight footage on Fox Sports 1 and Fox Sports 2. In 2013, a deal between NBC and Red Bull was resigned, but with 15 fewer hours of airtime.

These deals with NBC and FOX provide opportunities for people to view these competitions; however, much of the airing is limited to cable or satellite television, which not everyone has. With Red Bull TV, some of these limitations are overcome, providing an easily accessible medium for these events.

The Rise of Red Bull TV

With modern technology making Internet streaming easy and affordable for companies, it is now really simple for companies to stream their own content. Red Bull has taken advantage of the opportunities provided by the Internet by creating its own channel for airing extreme sports competitions and associated content. The channel is available online and connected devices, including Apple TV, Xbox 360, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, LG and Samsung smart TVs, several smart phones and tablets, and other devices.

What is on Red Bull TV

Connected users can enjoy hours of Red Bull TV, including clips from past events and live events. One of the main areas of content on the channel are global extreme sports competitions, aired live. Examples of streamed events include Lollapalooza, FMB Dual Speed and Style in Whistler, UCI MTB World Cup Downhill Finals from Windham and Mont-Sainte-Anne, and UCI BMX World Championships from Rotterdam. In addition to extreme sports competitions, there are also series that go behind the scenes of many extreme sports, including surfing, BMX riding, snowboarding, and more. There are also series that provide behind the scenes looks into the music business, graffiti art, and other fields of interest.

Extreme sports enthusiasts now have unprecedented access to live events with Red Bull TV. All a person needs is Internet access to view the events, and with connected devices, viewers can enjoy the events on their TV. The events stream live, so viewers can tune in and see the action as it happens. Red Bull TV lists the upcoming events to make it easy to plan to view the event and not miss out on any minute of the action.

photo credit: raniel diaz via photopin cc

Daredevils Compete In Moscow In Moscow City Games

Posted on: August 5th, 2014 by Pulse
Vladimir Filinov - Moscow City Games

Vladimir Filonov, “Moscow City Games,” The Moscow Times 07/28/14

Basketball, BMX, and breakdancing are just some of the more then fifty events showcased at Russia’s Moscow City Games, an annual sports festival held at Luzhniki Stadium.  The Moscow Committee of Sports organizes the event each year to expose the hundreds of thousands of attendees to the wide possibilities of extreme sports.  Through both exciting tournaments and demonstrations, people of all ages are introduced to a wide variety of thrilling options that can be part of a physically active lifestyle.

The most recent Moscow City Games took placed on July 26, 2014, attracting extreme athletes from all over the world, including MTB rider Lukas Knopf from Germany, who wrote on his facebook page that the event was “sick” and was an opportunity to “get some good stuff in practice.” This huge event highlights so many diverse activities from a wide variety of trick biking, racing, and skateboarding, gentler activates like chess and arm wrestling, and celebrations of what in Russia is considered “alternative” culture, such as beatboxing and graffiti art. The event is thus an opportunity to expose people to extreme sports they might not otherwise know about.

Thus, it was very exciting to the Freestyle Scooter world that this year, one of the featured events at Moscow City Games was the official Russian Scooter Championship, taking place on a skate park custom built for the Games.  According to the ISA (International Scooter Association),  “Russia has a strong emerging scooter scene with many enthusiastic up and coming riders,” a new but growing field spreading through the grassroots, recruiting many local youth excited by the freedom and possibilities of exploring scooter techniques.

isa championship awards

isa-championships.com

The Russian Scooter Championship was a wildcard championship, enabling any International Pro Rider a chance to compete for a spot at the World Championship, to be held at Scootfest in the UK August 16th -17th, in addition to cash prizes for the top three performers.  With local DJ Sokolov Yuri setting the atmosphere for the hundreds of spectators, each of the 40 riders completed two runs, with the top 15 going on to the final.  18-year-old English rider Ryan McNamara won the championship with a final score of 93.33.   It has been four years since an awe-struck Ryan first received his JDBug, and he recently reflected on his facebook page that “I did not have a clue how much a scooter could change someone’s life,” both through a life-energizing experience of riding, and the “hundreds or maybe even thousands” of friends riding has introduced him to and given such “great memories.”  The second place spot was claimed by 21 year-old French rider Flavio Pesenti, with a final score of 93.

The highest performing Russian rider, who placed third overall, and secured an ISA Wild Card spot, was 17 year-old Peter Bondar, with a final score of 92.67.  Peter will be the only Russian contender for the championship this year, but overall Russia gave us nine of the fifteen top performing riders for the Russian Championship.  In keeping with the Moscow Games’ emphasis on education and outreach, locals were treated to a “ride with the pros” open park event, in which anyone could ride with, interact with, and learn from some of the world’s greatest riders.  Thus, this event demonstrated that Russia is going to be very exciting field producing great enthusiastic emerging scooter riders, and I expect great things from the National Scooter Foundation of Russia in the future.

photo credit: ISA Championship via photopin cc

The Next Generation Of Scooters Is Moving To The Dirt

Posted on: July 14th, 2014 by Pulse

The Next Generation of Scooter Moving to the Dirt

Scooters have been a fun and convenient way to commute around urban areas for years. The growing popularity of scooters led to the formation of freestyle scootering and other scooter-based sports. As these sports gain in popularity, scooter manufacturers create new models of scooters that enhance the ability and safety of the scooters for these sports, such as freestyle scooters. The latest generations of scooters are providing users the ability to scooter off-road and in the dirt.

Why Dirt Scooters?

Most scooters are built to ride on smooth terrain, such as at skate parks or on the street. The wheels, deck, handle bars and other elements of the scooter are made for the specific use of the scooter. Although freestyle scooters have a more solid and rigid deck, reinforced handlebars, and other special features to allow the tricks to be done and extend the life of the scooter, it still does not provide the durability of an off-road vehicle. As more and more scooter riders are moving to the dirt, manufacturers are creating scooters that will have the durability and ability for freestyle dirt scootering.

What can Dirt Scooters Do?

Dirt scooters, or those that can ride on all terrains, can take the enjoyment of scootering off the road and into dirt, trails and mountains. They are made of stronger materials and wheels to handle the harsher terrain. In addition to freestyle scootering, they can be used for cross-country riding either alone or with dogs (also known as mushing). Although each specific brand of dirt scooter has its own features, the biggest differentiator of dirt scooters form other types is that they have inflatable tires and intertubes, similar to the BMX bikes.

Razor’s Phase Two Dirt Scoot

There are several different types of dirt or all-terrain scooters already on the market, including that by one of the most recognized name of scooters, Razor. John Radke, the professional freestyle scooter rider who first recognized the potential of taking the sport to the dirt, designed the Razor Phase Two Dirt Scoot Pro. This scooter underwent two years of testing to ensure its high-quality and ability to take on this sport. It has high-pressure tires and tubes that have a custom design tread pattern that feature knobs for aggressive traction but a smooth center rib for rolling on pavement. It also has a two-piece, split core hub design that makes it easy to maintain the tires and tubes.

Other Brands of Dirt Scooters

Royal Scout also has manufactured some dirt scooter models that feature genuine MBS 200mm pneumatic wheels that can be used on dirt jumps, BMX tracks, rough alley rail jams, grass drops, or single track trails. They have a variety of models with features perfect for the entry-level rider to a professional.

Another type of dirt scooter is the Diggler Mountain Scooter, proclaimed as the original mountain scooter. It is a combination of mountain bike and scooter, and features larger wheels than some of the dirt scooters. They can handle the same terrain as a mountain bike, but they offer the turning abilities and fun of a skateboard. They can go downhill and around terrain, whether you just want to get around hiking trails a bit faster or want to take your scooter freestyle tricks off the ramp and into the woods.

For scooter enthusiasts who wish to take their sport off-road, they now have many options of dirt and mountain scooters that provide the durability to perform tricks or just go for a ride on any surface. With the new generation of dirt scooters, you can take your scooter anywhere.

photo credit: scott

College Student Breaks World Record For Scooter Relay

Posted on: June 17th, 2014 by Pulse
Scooter Relay World Record Holder

photo credit: pennsylvaniamentor via photopin cc

A team of students at Messiah College in Pennsylvania are working on more than just acing their finals this year: the young students have set what looks to be the world record for Longest Scooter Relay. This feat, of course required the help of quite a large relay team, but students including Mitchell Kauffman, Brandon Straley, Jordon Schoenberger Forrest Evans, Kyle Tolbert, Alex Roth, Greg Talamo, Nolan Goss, Heremy White, Devin Esch, Shaun Egolf, Matthew Phillippy, Daniel Vivolo, and Jason Yoder have banded together to make their dream of being Guinness World Record holders a reality.

Relaying for a Cause

In addition to relaying for the thrill of beating the world record, the Messiah students used the relay as a chance to raise money and awareness for the Living Legacy Foundation, which is a Maryland-based organization devoted to helping connect those who are in critical need of an organ donor with organs from individuals who have designated themselves as organ donors. While setting the record, the students raised an impressive $8000 dollars for the organization through the site www.gofundme.com, which allows fundraisers to raise money in a situation where all of the funds donated go directly to the person or organization they are intended for. Though the team has already set the record, they are continuing to raise money for the cause as they continue to receive more and more attention around their record.

A True All-Nighter

The relay team took a full 24 hour period to beat the world record, in a ride that started at 10am on May 17th, 2014 and lasted until 10am on May 18th 2014. In total, this 24 hour period was enough time for the riders to log an impressive 344 miles at the Yellow Breaches Sports Center in New Cumberland, PA. This is a full 8 miles more than the previous record of 336 miles. The record was accomplished by the team over the course of many 100 meter sprints, which were switched off between the 25 riders.

A Grueling Physical Challenge

One of the event organizers, a Messiah student named Ben Baker, described the relay as “Probably the hardest thing that every single one of us has probably done, and a lot harder than we thought it would be. It was very physically grueling,”. Once team members set the goal of breaking the record, they all got scooters and rode them as often as they could around the streets of their college town. Most scooter riding enthusiasts report that the sport does in fact provide a healthy dose of cardio, and riding at that pace for that amount of time certainly would be universally recognized as a major feat. Baker also recalled his thoughts during the difficult process of completing the relay race, stating, “Once you got into it, you thought, ‘I’m not going to put myself in this kind of pain and not beat this record,”. Many of the team members’ class mates took interest in their bid to break the record, and by the end of the race there was a crowd of students watching as the team scootered their way to world record victory.

Waiting on Official Word From Guinness

Though the record has not been officially certified by the Guinness Book of World Records, the record was certainly broken and the team is in the process of making sure that their work is properly noted. In the mean time, the Living Legacy Foundation is enjoying both the publicity and the donations that these dedicated athletes have worked so hard and so tirelessly to raise.

Lakeside Skatepark Bans Wheelchairs

Posted on: June 3rd, 2014 by Pulse

Residents in the San Diego area have expressed shock and outrage over the fact that a popular skatepark in Lakeside has banned the use of performance wheelchairs. The skatepark in Lakeside has long been a hub of sporting activity, as residents of all ages, and especially younger kids, have used the park as a place to ride skateboards, scooters, and wheelchairs. Many feel that the new law banning the use of performance wheelchairs is unfair and discriminates against athletes who could not ride at all, if it were not for their customized chairs.

Wheelchairs

https://flic.kr/p/6tnMoh

Wheelchair Riders Feel the Exclusion is Unfair

The policy of the Lakeside Park, which is indicated by a sign that reads “Park is for skateboarding only. Bicycles, rollerskates, scooters, motorized, vehicles, or other wheeled devices are not permitted in the skatepark,” is seen by many wheelchair riders as very exclusionary, considering the fact that those who ride wheelchairs for sport do not have the option of doing another kind of activity. As on wheelchair rider put it, “I no longer have the privilege to get on a skateboard or a bike or a scooter and say ‘Ok, I’m going to do this.,’” For many wheelchair riders, recreational riding has opened up a world of athleticism and fun that was not previously available to them, and the idea of parks forbidding them from an activity seems to be a way of shutting them out of the world of riding.

Some City Officials Working to Change the Rules

City employees like County Supervisor Dianne Jacob, have been vocal about their recognition that excluding wheel chair riders may in fact be unfair. Jacob has indicated that she does not think it is fair to exclude wheelchair riders and is working on ways in which the rule may be changed, but notes that the rule was originally put in place because some officials were concerned that allowing different types of riders in one space may present safety concerns.

Sense of Community in the Riding World

Many wheelchair riders are dismayed about being excluded from riding in the park because they feel a very strong sense of camaraderie with other riders. Many wheelchair riders identify as being very similar to a skateboard rider or cyclist and expect to ride in the same areas and in similar ways to those riders. Many skaters, scooter riders, and cyclists have echoed this sentiment, agreeing that riding is about the community and that they believe their fellow riders should be able to ride in the same areas that they do.

Wheelchair Riders Come From a Wide Variety of Backgrounds

The sport of recreational wheelchair riding is an ever growing one that attracts people of many different backgrounds and ages. Many people who ride have been in wheelchairs their entire lives while others may be athletes who rode skateboards or scooters but suffered from injuries. The diverse nature of the wheelchair riding community has made it one that values inclusion. It can also be a great way for young people who are in wheelchairs to enjoy many of the same exciting outdoor sports as their peers. The sport has grown considerably over the past decade, as more companies have begun to manufacture wheelchairs that are specifically engineered for performance and feature things like strong shocks, which allow for jumps. These chairs are often also faster and can be maneuvered to do things like quick turns and jumps. In this way, wheelchairs certainly belong in the same types of areas as skateboards, because they are in effect used in many of the same exciting, exhilarating, and creative ways.