Brown County, IN—A Brown County, Indiana man who is paralyzed from the waist down was stunned this week when a cross-country rider told him to earn his turns.
“My legs don’t even fucking work,” said Percy Veranse. “I think I earned my turns when I lost use of them rescuing a child during the Iraq War.”
Veranse was confronted by XC rider Guy LaDouche on North Tower Loop while riding his specially made, battery-powered recumbent eBike. LaDouche—seemingly, for no real reason, and ignoring the obvious fact that Veranse’s legs are disabled—angrily questioned Veranse about the bike, saying it is against the rules to ride it, and he should be “pedaling like everyone else.”
“Working legs or not, everyone should earn their turns,” said LaDouche. “Imagine being out here sweating your ass off in a skin-tight jersey when some entitled paraplegic dangerously burns past you at two miles per hour, ripping apart the trail.”
LaDouche said he wouldn’t be surprised if more paralyzed riders started showing up and enjoying trail rides, an idea which makes him sick to his stomach.
“We simply can’t have everyone out here pretending their Paul Basagoitia, using eBikes to better their lives,” said LaDouche. “If you can’t pedal a regular mountain bike, you don’t deserve the happiness mountain bike brings.”
Veranse said he plans to continue riding his eBike, regardless of LaDouche’s stance on the matter.
“That guy is a huge asshole so I’m not all that concerned about his opinion,” said Veranse. “I actually just upgraded my bike’s motor and jumped ahead of him on all STRAVA segments so I’m enjoying riding now more than ever.”