Danny Baird of Lowell, Michigan, recently set a new record. He is the first person with quadriplegia to motocross, just four years after a dirt bike accident left him paralyzed from the underarms down. The 2012 injury made riding seem impossible for Baird but he became determined to get back on his bike again.
Like many motocross athletes, the 28-year old started at a young age. “My dad got me on a three-wheeler when I was like 3 years old and then I moved up to a little PW-50,” said Baird. “I started racing when I was four.”
In April, he got back on a bike for the first time since his spinal cord injury, which was equipped with seat belts and a cage to protect his legs. “It was weird because even though it’s been like four and a half years, it’s like my body remembers everything that it should do, like seat bouncing when you jump and stuff. I’ve just got to figure out how to do it differently,” he said.
Differently is working. He’s taken part in numerous competitions, just recently getting back from Sturgis, South Dakota, where he took second in the four-stroke class, “which is a hell of an achievement for me,” he said.
However, just getting back on a bike after his injury was one of Baird’s greatest achievements. “This scares me so much I like it. “I feel comfortable when I’m on my bike. As scary as many bad things can happen, I feel like I’m in control still somehow, you know? There’s nowhere I feel more comfortable,” he said.
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