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.
Click here for more resources on actives lifestyles after spinal cord injury.
Danny, you are such an inspiration to many and thank you for sharing your story. I am the wife of an SCI patient. He’s a quad since his dirt bike accident in January 2017. He was in a race, broke his neck and was paralyzed from the shoulders down. Luckily he’s an incomplete and continues to have improvement with trying to walk, yet he has no feeling from his waist down. However, getting him back on his bike as you did will be a dream. I am not sure if you have any advise on the set up you have, but if you do, perhaps some pointers so I can build a cage similar to accommodate our new life. We’re both racers and it will be great if he can be by my side even doing trail rides again. Wishing you the best. JR
i like this is nice for people