Last year Shelley joined the LapDogs cycling club which is based out of Dukes Cycle Shop.
Once a competitive mountain biker Shelley sustained a head injury in 2001. She spent 6 weeks in a coma and had to relearn how to walk and many of life’s activities. Half of her body is paralyzed (hemiplegia). Shelley joined the LapDogs last year and was the first person allowed to race a UCI trike in Ontario. The Quebec Cycling Federation (Fédération Québecoise des Sports Cyclistes) leant Shelley one and she raced it at the provincial championships. Now Shelley is trying to get her own UCI race trike; they have to be custom made. There isn’t a choice of models like you see in regular cycling stores.
The Ontario Cycling Association gave Shelley a race license for 2009. Shelley’s category is Cerebral Palsy 2. She can race other UCI trikes. Shelley most likely will have to race internationally since there are few trikes in Canada. She is now trying to earn a position on the Canadian Team for the Paralympics 2012 in triking as the first triker in Ontario.
Aside from figuring out how to classify me, there has been a lot for everybody to learn like designing a race course. For trikers (Cerebral Palsy 1 and 2) the distance is 10 km. For all other time trial bike races the distance is 15 km. Another thing to learn is how to start Trikers. Trikers are allowed to have a safety rider accompany them who can help them when they need it.
After Shelley’s accident she still wanted to continue to race bikes. Shelley has to do it differently now but she is still doing it. Shelley lives in Duke’s community and Dukes has always been a there for Shelley and she enjoys being part of the LapDogs club.
Shelley would like to communicate that Dukes has helped her, even as they recover from the fire. Being a disabled person the LapDogs have made me feel welcome as a fellow cyclist. They are proud of my aspirations and are helping me get to London.
Thanks Duke’s and The LapDogs.
Sincerely, Shelley Gautier.