I've always enjoyed going fast. It was something that made me
feel free, something that took my mind off of things. Most of
the time, going fast for me was in a car. When you are at high
speeds you focus all of your senses on one thing, being in full
control of your vehicle. A couple of
semesters ago, I started working in the Air Quality industry for
the state. It was focused on cutting down automotive emissions
with smog regulations. This transformed me into a different
person, a person who was more environmentally conscious, a
person who cared more about doing my part for society. From
that, and the influence from other engineers at my work, going
fast for me was now on a bicycle. My bikes were a lot cheaper as
a hobby than my car ever was. I've always had a thing for
getting my hands dirty and tearing mechanical things apart, so
the bicycle was right up my alley. From that point forward, I've
been riding and fixing bikes ever since.
I googled "deaf culture cycling" and google spat out tons of
links (some were useful, most were irrelevant such as "Naked
Deaf Man on a Bike", definitely related to deaf and cycling but
definitely uncalled for). The most important search result was
the first link, which directed me to the United States Deaf
is the sign for a bicycle, bike, or riding a bike:
My initial reaction was, "dang! these guys have an association?
that's awesome!!!" (that was my exact reaction).
Before I go any further let us go over the sign for a
(Used with permission from lifeprint.com)
Which is pretty much two fists, knuckles out doing a crank
motion of a bicycle.
he USDCA site was pretty much the gate to everything else
related to the deaf community and cycling for me, but the most
important thing of their site for me was their by-laws, where
they stated their goals for this association. In their bylaws,
article 2 states their objectives which includes:
Sec 1: To promote cycling, both recreational and competitive,
among deaf and hearing impaired people.
Sec 2: To provide deaf cyclists with benefits, activities and
opportunities which will further increase their enjoyment of the
sport of cycling.
Sec 3: To encourage amateur bike racing among deaf cyclists and
to sponsor national and regional races for the deaf cyclists,
with sanction by and in conformance with the rules of
appropriate agencies governing national and international
Sec 4: To assist in any way possible the selection, organization
and training of the United States Deaf Cycling teams for
All of these goals were awesome and something I am definitely
on-board with. Whatever promotes more people to get on a bicycle
and ride is definitely something worth while
The Greatest Week
in Deaf Cycling History!!!
So apparently I
missed the greatest week in deaf cycling history. It looks like
I missed it by about 2 years, which is really disappointing
because if I had known about it I definitely would have been
there to witness "the greatest week in deaf cycling history"
because it was so local (in San Francisco and San Jose area).
Looking at the reviews and the summary of all the races now, it
was a major part of history; 12 nations were represented by 50
riders in both the Road and Mountain bike areas.
The picture above is of three cyclists who can out-sprint me
anytime of the week. They are the top three (out of 32 riders)
who finished 1000m sprint. They are three people standing on the
podium because they have two main things in common. First is
that they are cyclist (awesome cyclists) and second because they
The second race I was thrilled to read about was the 120km. "The
WDCC website has long said this race is the toughest road race
in Deaf cycling history, and many riders after the race agreed
enthusiastically!" When I checked the map and the elevation
change of the course, I think I almost fainted. I can't even
dream of climbing up a hill like that after 70 miles of intense
riding (I don't think I can even ride 70 miles intensely, or 70
miles at all)!
The World Deaf Cycling Championship is definitely something I
wish I was there to enjoy. Hopefully there will be another one
soon that is local.
I ran across a
very inspiring video of Robin Horwitz from the Riding for Deaf
Riding for Deaf Schools was a one day bike ride on Oct 19th to
raise funding for schools for the deaf in the United States.
Another disappointing find for me because I found out about this
too late; this was something I would love to participate in.
I watched the video and thought, "man this Robin guy is
awesome", so I proceeded to google and found other things about
Robin Horwitz. According to Cycling News, Mr. Horwitz is a
graduate from Gallaudet University and is the Director and Owner
of Hawk Relay Cycling Team, a team that has two cyclist who
competed for the United States at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
They are sponsored by Hawk Relay, a company that created a video
relay system to assist with telecommunication for deaf and hard
of hearing people. According to the peaks coaching group, he
also owns Threshold Power, Inc. which "which hosts training
camps in partnership with Hunter Allen and Peaks Coaching, Inc
and is designed for cyclists of all stripes who want to learn
how to incorporate power meters in their training." He is a
USACycling-certified coach and is also the supervisor of Hellyer
Park Velodrome in San Jose, helping to teach beginners on
Saturdays about track racing (I attended one of those sessions
over the summer, it was a blast!). So to sum it all up, Robin
Horwitz loves speed (he started out as a race car driver!!),
cycling, and track racing and is really successful in something
he loves (all of the things that I love). He is officially my
new hero. I hope I'm able to contact him and meet him someday,
since he lives a couple of hours away in the Bay Area.