Famed Mountain Biker’s Road to Recovery

This famed mountain biker was on top of his game when a crash nearly left him paralyzed. Now, Paul Basagoitia is looking to use his journey to recovery to help others with spinal cord injuries.

A ride to recovery

Paul Basagoitia was one of the world’s top mountain riders. But in 2015, while competing, he suffered a devastating crash and a spinal cord injury. Determined to walk again, Paul embarked on a 9 month-long recovery.

Recovery from spinal cord injury

“I was the youngest kid on the block and my next-door neighbor was a teenager and he would always build ramps in front of his house. … my mom bought me a bike at the bike shop and never I never got off that they never since. I was told I was never going to walk again. The first year I had really not too much movement from the waist down. Here I am living my worst nightmare. It was one of the biggest challenges I ever had in my life. When I got to be able to move my right leg for the first time, I knew there was some sort of hope to be able to maybe regain some movement, sensation, and maybe to be able to walk again and to pedal a bike once, once again that I used to love doing. Believe or not, I enjoy riding bikes more now today than I ever had before. It's kind of weird because when you think about the situation, the bike causes this to happen to me, but at the same time, the bike brings so much joy to me.And you know, I love riding bikes. I actually ride a bike more today than I did prior to this injury. And I'm just so blessed to be able to pedal once again,” Paul Basagoitia tells Brut.

A tool of freedom

Basagoitia is now able to walk with a cane, and to ride on an electric mountain bike. Today, Basagoitia wants to use his experience to highlight the need for spinal cord injury research.