When my doctor told me that my tootsie was getting better and it was the right time to start rehabilitating it on bike, I got the chance to help my friend Michal make his dream come true.
Michal Kosík had been an active rider until he sustained a severe injury. Since then he has been wheelchair-bound and wheels have become an inseparable part of his life. It took plenty of time to develop and produce his four-wheeled bike and now he is able to get to the slopes again. Unfortunately, he can´t make it without a cable car or other people´s assistance. His dream was to stand on a slope, face to face with freeride trails again. As an active rider, I was glad that we could make it happen. It is also worth mentioning it wouldn´t have been possible without Vectra foundation and WeLoveCycling.com
Checking the terrain on Google Earth.
It looks awesome over there/Draix area.
I revised my plans and changed them a little bit. We got the ZAM team together, packed and loaded the van and hit the road. The destination we had chosen was unknown for all of us. The name of a small French town was Archail. The place where dark dusty mountains loomed behind green trees which looked like scattered throughout the area. Local people were incredibly friendly and willing to help and give advice. We were told the best way to get to the hills so that we could save some energy. However we had to push the four-wheeled bike uphill anyway, which made this experience more valuable because it was all about a pure freeride in the wilderness.
Itˈs easier to watch and check the terrain out through binoculars.
Washing the car on the way to Black Hills.
Helpful French ladies are showing us the best way up for Michal.
When Michal canˈt see what is beyond the horizon, there is only one solution. Friendsˈ backs!
Definitely not a piece of cake to push Michalˈs four-wheeled bike up the hill.
After the first testing day we decided to prepare the longest freeride trail for Michal. Mission accomplished! Michalˈs trembling hands and voice made me realize that this was gonna be a 100% freeride experience for him. He went downhill for the first time and I could see an incredible joy in his eyes. At that moment I knew his dream just came true. The whole team knew that we managed to do everything we wanted. We left with some unforgettable experiences.
The first test ride on the black surface.
Michal mustered the courage to drift.
Only three wheels touch the ground on this kind of surface.
However, it was all about the way he took off, sometimes he needed only two wheels.
There is a wide asphalt road narrowing with every turning.
Itˈs necessary to make some trails more suitable for Michal to prevent him from falling down to a chasm.
Marty who is behind the camera is curious about Michalˈs experiences.
After the rain we struggled with a sticky soil, it was almost impossible to ride on it.
Five members of our team were involved in pushing Michalˈs bike up the hill.
Pumpinˈ up and checkinˈ tyre pressure at the top of the mountain where the longest trail starts.
Michal always followed Gaspi so that he didnˈt turn aside, itˈs very difficult to see the horizon if you sit 1,6 ft above ground.
Two riders - three track.
Michal is on top of the world, adrenaline is rushing through his veins and his dream just came true.
Team ZAM / Vectra and Merge Productions / We Love Cycling.
None of us can imagine what physically handicapped people must go through. None of us realizes that one second can change our lives. We fully grasped this concept a few days after our arrival. Aleš, a member of our team and Michalˈs helper during the journey, had a motorbike accident and surgeons had to amputate his leg.
Thanks to all of you all who care about other people!
By team ,zam and Richard Gasperotti.
Camera: Martin Smolik /Merge
Photographer: Jan Kasl
Michal’s legs: Ales Egerwww.facebook.com/zam.journey