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300 Mile Rotary International End Polio Bike Tour

$4,581 of $9,999 goal

Raised by 57 people in 10 months
I am a Paralympian.

In August of 2019 I will peddle my hand cycle 300 miles in my Rotary International End Polio Now Campaign Good Will Bike Tour in which I will raise awareness about the work Rotary is doing to eradicate polio from the planet.  

Training to be a Paralympian comes with seen and unseen expenses. They magically appear in the form of monthly medical insurance premiums, repair costs; gears, brakes, wheels, everything on a handcycle can and does break down.    

My training costs for this year-long training cycle will come to about $10,000. 

If you would like to assist me, you are welcome to share this with your friends.   If you feel so inclined you are welcome to make a donation.  

Don't forget to be amazing today.

Steve Brumme
Paralympian

As a side note:  On Oct 8 I was in training for my upcoming Rotary International End Polio Now Bike Tour and crashed into a car. My bike was totaled, and my body was injured. At the encouragement of close friends, I put together a GoFundMe site and asked my friends for assistance to help me raise enough money to replace my handcycle.

18 Days later, the money needed to purchase my newTop End XLT PRO handcycle was met and  I can resume my Paralympian training.

Many, many thanks to all my friends who wished me encouragements.
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One of the gifts this accident has given to me is a platform from which to share with you more about my mission, my desire to help make our world a better place.

I do this by training as a Paralympian who goes on 300 to 900 mile annual goodwill bike tours promoting awareness for two organizations that are doing great things.

Rotary International and the Challenged Athletes Foundation.

Rotary International made a decision in 1985 to help assist The World Health Organization and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation eradicate polio from the planet.

Is that a problem, you might ask?

In 1985, in 138 countries over 300,000 people caught polio and died or, like me, became paralyzed. Most of those people were infants. Since then, over 1 billion children have been inoculated through the End Polio Now program with the anti-polio vaccination. The number of people who contracted polio last year was under 500 individuals. Worldwide. This story needs to be told until polio is gone.

The Challenged Athletes Foundation is a group of people dedicated to sponsoring Partially Abled Bodied athletes to train for competitive and non-competitive events, like handcycle racing, the martial arts, swimming, and wheelchair racing. They collect and give away nearly $3,000,000 per year.

Each year I conduct an endurance ride that covers up to 900 miles of roads while telling the stories of these programs to local newspapers and radio programs.

You can assist me in this fun and inspiring event by sharing my GoFundMe site with your friends, and if you feel happy about it, you can make a contribution directly. Any amount will make a difference.

My annual costs for training and maintenance of equipment round off to $6,000.

If you own a business and would like to sponsor my yearly event, let me know and I will send you a formal invitation.

To all of you who have encouraged this endeavor, I say thank you.

Steve Brumme
Paralympian
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My friends are asking me for the story of the bike collision.

"What happened?" they say.

Here is how it went down.

I was in training for my Rotary International End Polio Now and Challenged Athletes Foundation Good Will Bike Tour next summer. It takes nearly a year to get in shape for endurance riding. A little more every day.
It was 3:30 Monday. I turned off Verano onto Rt 12 going North. There was lots of traffic. A line of cars to my left blinded my view of the oncoming cars on the other side. I was going fast downhill. I approached Douglas Ave, 1/10 of a mile ahead.

It was hot. I was dehydrated. Tired. Not thinking clearly. That was the problem.

Rather than approach Douglas Ave slowly I maintained a steady speed. That was unfortunate because while I watched for the cars on my right entering RT 12, I was unable to see who might be exiting onto Douglas.

I have cycled for over 10,000 miles on Sonoma County roads for the last 10 years, and I knew better. I did not slow down to observe.

A van pulled in front of my path, and I was unable to come to a stop before the collision.

I hit it with tremendous force. My right foot slammed into the vans panel, as my bike crunched. I bounced back into the street and lay there looking up at the sky.

A man in his 30s was looking down from above. He said, "You Ok man."

I said, 'Yeah, I think so."

And then looking down the length of my body I said as an afterthought. "I think I broke my foot."

Another younger man's face appeared silhouetted by the blue sky above and said with a look of concern, "Steve, Wow, are you OK. It's Jordon."

"Jordon," I said, somewhat dazed and somewhat high from the endorphins flowing through my brain, "what are you doing here?"

He chuckled. "Well, helping you, I think."

Jordon is a young man I used to sit and talk to. I hadn't seen him for over a year. Good guy.

They asked me how they could assist me. I asked them to help me unwrap my leg from the bike. Then I asked them to carry the bike over to the side. They did. They returned and I asked them if they would carry me. They were like firemen in their handling.

Another woman, a young beautiful lady kneeled at my side and said, "Do you want me to call the ambulance?"
I said, "Yes, please."

I was a boy of 13 last time I got to ride in one of those. "I am on an adventure," I was thinking to myself.

The first man, Gabe asked me if he could transport my bike somewhere.

I smiled. I really did. Such kindness. "Yes," I said, "The Wine Country Cyclery. On Napa Sreet."

The driver who I hit came over. She was so sorry.
"Not your fault," I said. "I was going too fast."

It wasn't her fault.

I broke two cycling rules.

1. Stay hydrated.

2. Slow down when approaching cars coming and going at an access road.

Actually, there is a third golden rule. The most golden.

Don't collide into cars.

Amen.

If you would like to assist me to get back on the road you are welcome to share my GoFundMe site with your friends. If you feel really gracious you may make a donation.
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Years ago, when I began hand cycling in Sonoma, a friend approached me and asked if I might want to help her encourage the city council to build more bike paths. I smiled at her and simply said, “no." The effort, I was convinced, produce no real results until her preteen children were out of college.

My mind has changed since then.

It is time we make it easy for healthy, self-mobile Sonoma County Residents to travel on bikes without having to risk life and limb by getting hit by cars. Like I just did on Monday.

110 years ago all of our ancestors were self-mobile. They walked about 10 miles a day to go anywhere. If you look at black and white photos of Sonoma County residents from 1900 what you will notice is everyone is thin and they are strong. They didn't go to the gym. They walked.

According to Deepak Chopra, in the year 1900 heart attacks were unheard of in the U.S. He states in his book, Ageless Body Timeless Mind, that by 1920 when cars were prevalent heart disease had become epidemic. Today, he says, a cardiologist will see four patients every hour.

"Why is this?" he asks.

Because we as a culture have become accustomed to riding around in very sexy, amazingly beautiful pieces of technology called automobiles, while we try to ignore that they are really nothing other than glorified wheelchairs. I was, like we all are, addicted to my beautiful Auto Wheel Chair and put about 1,000 miles into those turning wheels every week.

In 2008 even though I was training then to climb El Capitan, and had a rock hard body, 6,400 pull-ups would be required. None the less, I had a desk job and clients up and down the coast. I was sitting still in my office or in my car 12 hours a day. While the muscles were strong, my internal organs weren't and I got something that resembled colon cancer.

I cut my work hours way down to just four a day and stayed out of my car. I rested, ate lots of green foods, did light workouts, and in 6 months I got well.

After that, I realized I needed to shift my view of my body. I took action.

I retired from my job. Developed a home business. Parked my beautiful auto wheelchair, a silver SUV Supersport Mitsubishi, in my driveway for a six-month experiment.

As a fail-safe measure, if I really needed the car, I told myself, I would use it. But if I could do without it all the better.

I wanted to teach my body to walk everywhere I needed to go. The grocery store was a 2-mile walk. The Sunflower Cafe, where I was the Art Director was a 4-mile walk. My brother's home was a 5-mile walk. The post office was 6 miles. Every day I grabbed my laptop plus an empty duffle bag and marched out the door.

The first week was difficult. I could walk only one block and then I would have to rub my shoulders and catch my breath. (I walk on crutches.)

After 1 month I could walk three blocks without taking a break.

After 6 months I walked 5 miles and still did not need to rest.

And more! Whenever I arrived at any destination I felt better, and I was more clear-minded than when I left my house. My body was wildly strong. I was getting younger as I continued to age.

Very few people in the automobile culture of the U.S. today understand what their great-grandparents understood. Self-mobility is a lifestyle to desire. Few understood that I was walking because it was a choice superior to riding in a car.

As a result, every day many people pulled their car to the side of the road asking if I wanted a lift. I smiled and said no. Several people thought I had no car because I was poor. A car to them represents wealth.

Whereas to me, and our ancestors, the car is a sign of great weakness.

I have never missed my car. Not for two seconds have I wished to have it back.

I ride my bike 10 to 20 miles a day.

At this moment I want you to help me help you.

Sonoma County is a deadly dangerous place for self-mobile cyclists. And yet there are many more cyclists out there than even ten years ago.

We need more bike paths.

I have been riding my bike for 10 years. I have moved over 10's of thousands of miles through this county. I am an extremely cautious bike rider. And still, I got hit. Why?

Because the bike paths in Sonoma County are not efficient enough for healthy people to take advantage of, without dire risk.

If you read this, then you, like me are concerned.

That being true, tell me. What is your opinion on this?

And in the meantime, if you would like to assist me to replace my destroyed handcycle, please visit my GoFundMe site and share it with a friend. You are welcome to make a donation. I am looking forward to getting back on the road.

Keep riding.
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While I recover, I am quietly impressed by the kind words and gifts that many have shared with me.

Thank you.

I am doing as my doctor ordered and it is working. My right leg is healing gradually and consistently. I am hoping that within two to three weeks I will be up and...getting on my new bike. That is exciting.

May I share my core belief about injuries?

I am an athlete. While having a strong body is a good thing, athletic adventures are often met with minor disasters in the form of injuries.

As one of my fellow Kung Fu students said during a class in which we both were cautiously protecting our previous injured limbs from punches and kicks, he said as he laughed while rubbing his shoulder where I just hit him, "Steve it is never a question of, "are we injured?" Rather, did the last injury heal almost completely before the new one occurs."

Somehow, knowing that injuries are part of the athletic game, makes it feel as though an accident is not a mistake. It is a right of passage.

And the body heals every time.

Thank you for your kindnesses.

Steve Brumme
Paralympian
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Raised by 57 people in 10 months
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