Storytellers: Getting People Back on their Mountain Bikes

Jake O'Connor rides and adaptive mountain bike down a rocky trail

Storytellers: Getting People Back on their Mountain Bikes

This “when life gives you lemons…” type story from Crested Butte is truly inspirational. Watch Storytellers: Getting People Back on their Mountain Bikes from 9 News to see how local resident Jake O’Connor contributes to the sport of mountain biking in a very special way. In a town with a deep connection to the mountain biking community that is also home to one of the best adaptive sports programs in the country – there may be no better place for Jake to create custom, adaptive mountain bikes. After a construction accident left him as a t11-t12 paraplegic, O’Connor began riding hand cycles. He started out on road bikes, but traded in the pavement for single track soon after, noting that he’d “rather be eating dirt and dust than be getting hit by cars”. He began riding a friend’s off road hand cycle and then decided to build his own. From there, he made a business out of it. Currently, his company ReActive Adaptations, in Crested Butte, CO is one of the only manufacturers of off-road hand cycles in the world. Jake seems to get a great deal of fulfillment when he can see how his customers take to their new bikes. “Sometimes I’m so busy that I don’t have time to think about it, but it really is really cool, it’s a trip to see someone with a disability…get on one of my bikes and have this gigantic grin.” He goes on to say “You’re like wow, I just opened a door for this person.”