Ron Swann: Nothing Is Impossible

Ron Swann and his classic Giro 20

Note: The most fulfilling feedback from customers is when they tell us our bikes have made a difference in their lives.  I’ve heard from folks who’ve finally been able to manage diabetes, because they’ve been able to ride again.  One gentleman, spurred by the desire to ride one of our bikes, went from 560 lbs. down to 185 lbs.  Here is yet another story in this arena and we’re proud to have Ron on a Bacchetta! 

My name is Ron Swann. I am 54 years old and live in Atlanta, Georgia. I ride a Giro 20 recumbent that I bought about six years ago from a pawn shop on EBay. It came in two boxes, grimy and almost completely disassembled and I used photos from the Bacchetta website to put it together.

I have been an avid rider of bicycles for most of my life. I rode my first century when I was 14 and raced competitively throughout high school and college. In the early 80′s I raced triathlons and toured several times a year with my wife on our Santana Tandem. When we had children we rode single bikes with bicycle seats.

I thought my cycling days were over in 2005 when I suffered a severe spinal cord injury and was temporarily paralyzed from the waist down. Thankfully, emergency surgery restored about 60 percent of my function but I remained completely paralyzed my ankles, calf muscles and about half of my hamstrings and glutes.

About a year after my accident I tried riding a diamond frame bicycle but found my lack of seat/glute muscles as well as saddle anesthesia made it impossible. Soon thereafter I began investigating recumbents and the Giro 20 was recommended as the best recumbent to start with.

Learning to ride my Giro 20 was a challenge. I remember my first attempt at riding, left me lying in the street at the bottom of my driveway wondering if with my wobbly legs I could get the bike back up the driveway to my garage. I was so discouraged that I waited several months before trying again with success.

In 2009 I went with my 20 year old son on a ten day bike tour from Nashville, Tennessee to Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. My son rode a traditional diamond frame touring bike and I rode my Giro 20 fully loaded with camping gear. The memories are priceless.

Since July of this year I have been riding about 100 miles a week and will be riding my 4th century of the year this weekend in Opelika, Alabama with my sixteen year old nephew.

I have included pictures of me on my Giro as well as a couple of close-ups of the custom made carbon fiber braces I wear. Without my Giro and the braces cycling would not be possible.
I set a goal in July 2012 to ride a (very flat) 25 mile Time Trial with an average speed of 19.5mph by July 2013. On my first attempt (8/15) I averaged 18.13 mph and yesterday (9/23) I rode my second TT and averaged 18.76 mph. When I achieve my goal, I plan to reward myself with a Bacchetta Corsa!

I love riding my Giro 20. For handicapped individuals like myself, recumbents make cycling possible. For riders of all types, recumbents make cycling more comfortable and more fun.

Regards,
Ron Swann
Giro 20 (’05)

This entry was posted in Rider Spotlight and tagged , , by Mike Wilkerson. Bookmark the permalink.

About Mike Wilkerson

Mike has been in the recumbent bicycle industry for more than 8 years, starting out as an assembler at a major recumbent bicycle company; he moved his way up to become Bicycle Production Manager and eventually Sales Manger for that company. We were lucky to acquire his skills and experience in October of 2001 as he took on the role of Sales Manager. While an active cyclist, Mike also enjoys participating in other sports and maintains an active lifestyle.

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