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Thirty-nine year old Todd Kauppinen is an adult with cerebral palsy—a lifelong neurological condition that effects movement and posture. Because of his condition, Kauppinen has difficulty walking or balancing. As a child with cerebral palsy he was never able to ride a two-wheel bike and suffered a lot of skinned knees and elbows.
Now a husband and father, Kauppinen became determined to learn to ride a bicycle. Two years ago, he purchased a special bike that would make a world of difference in his life.
A recumbent bike comes equipped with a tall, very comfortable seat that offers back support. It also has three wheels allowing Kauppinen to maintain his balance while riding.
When he first began learning to ride, it was extremely difficult. Recumbent bikes, also called trikes, don't produce as much momentum as regular bikes and weigh about 20 to 30 pounds more than a typical bicycle.
However, Kauppinen didn't give up. “With a lot of perseverance and hard work he accomplished his goal,” says his wife Heidi.
Part of Kauppinen's goal was to enter a bike race and in 2005, he completed a 25-mile course in a little more than three hours. This year, Kauppinen participated in a 40-mile bike race he finished in four hours.
Bob Danielson, Superior Bike Fest worker, was amazed by Kauppinen's determination during the race. “I don't know how words can describe it. It really sets an example for others just by not allowing his disability to limit him,” Danielson said.
“You watch the limited ability in his joints and you can't help but think, sheer determination.”
Do you know someone who suffers from cerebral palsy? Contact a cerebral palsy attorney to find out if compensation is available to help cover the cost of treatment.