Para Cycling

China's Lian Huihua competes in the final of the men's C1-2-3 1,000-metre time trial during the Paralympic Games in Rio, Brazil, 2016. (Bob Martin for OIS/Getty Images)

What's it all about?

Have you ever wanted to zip around so fast on two (or three!) wheels that you almost just look like a blur going by on the street? If that's the case, then you might think para cycling is pretty cool!

How it's played

Things to watch for

a tandem bicycle with two riders, one sighted rider at the front and one blind rider at the back
Kal-Christian Kruse and Stefan Nimke of Germany compete in the Men's B 1,000-metre Time Trial at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. (Friedemann Vogel/Getty Images)
Tandem bicycle
  • In the class B events for visually impaired cyclists, a tandem bicycle designed for two riders is used — they need to work together to win the race!
  • The cyclist in front can see and steer the bike. The visually impaired “stoker” is in the back and does the hard work of powerful pedalling.
four tricycle riders race each other on an outside track
Athletes compete in the women's T1-2 road race at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. (Ricardo Morales/Reuters)
  • In the T class events for athletes with lack of balance or restrictions in pedalling, tricycles with really good stability for going around corners are used. 
  • These wide-wheeled cycles help with balance and require great skill by the athletes!
an athlete uses his hands to power his handcycle on an outside track
Tim deVries of Netherlands competes in the men's H5 road race at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. (Ueslei Marcelino/Reuters)
  • Handcycles are used in H class events for athletes who don’t have full use of their lower bodies — but they have amazing upper body and arm strength!
  • There are two types of handcycles: where the athletes lay on their backs and where they are kneeling and leaning forward while pedalling with their arms.