The gold goes to Ryen Reed

Ryen Reed, of Team PossAbilities, took home the gold during last week's para-cycling race, in the WH4 class, at the Redlands Bicycle Classic.

Spectators lined the sides of Citrus Avenue, to watch the stage 4 event, of the Loma Linda University Health PossAbilities sponsored para-cycling race series of 2019.

Approximately 45 contestants lined up at the starting line to race on a 30-minute circuit, in downtown Redlands.

This is the 13th year the Loma Linda University Health PossAbilities has sponsored the para-cycling race division, said Cotie Williams, race director of the para-cycling event.

Two international athletes, Paralympians and those training for the para-Olympics also took part in the race.

According to Williams, seven women competed in five classifications.

What is unique about the Redlands event is that is inclusive of all para-cycling classifications, such as hand-cycling, tri-cycles, blind-tandem, kneelers and recumbents.

“Our race is the leading race in the nation,” said Williams. “We have outstanding courses that race on pro-cycling courses. We have four stages of racing. The inclusivity adds to the quality of the race. The support that we get from the Redlands Bicycle Classic is the best of the best.”

Lera Doederlein competed in WH5 class of the para-cycling race.

“I did alright. I got knocked off my bike once, but I got back up,” said Doederlein.

Ryen Reed competed in the H4 class stage 4 event on Saturday. Reed thought the course was challenging.

“The turns on the downhills were challenging,” said Reed. “I prefer the longer course that we did yesterday.I kept the rubber side down to navigate the turns. I didn’t yesterday.”

Reed has been racing for Team PossAbilities for last five years.

“Without their support, I wouldn’t be able to do this and chase my dreams and compete in the para-Olympics.

The 29-year-old went on to take first place and the gold, during the para-cycling race series.

Some athletes came from as far north as Canada.

“Matthew is trying to make the 2020 Olympics,” Mark Kinnie, of New Brunswick, Canada. Kinnie’s son, Matthew, competed in the MH2 class, riding his hand-cycle.

“I am very impressed with this set up here. It’s beautiful. The city is lovely, and they did a bang-up job.

Kinnie placed second in his class. Kinnie’s next race will be in Quebec, in June.

Ryan Pinney rides for the Paralyzed Veterans of America. He won the race by seconds, ahead of his team-mate David Randall.

“David’s fast. He always pushes me,” said Pinney.

According to Pinney, the para-cyclers make up a very tight community.

“But once you’re on the course, racing, all bets are off,” said Pinney with a laugh.

The athletes competed for monetary prizes that ranged from $100 to $1,000.

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