1×10: Leo Rodgers, Overcoming Adversity Through Cycling

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Welcome to 1×10, where we ask 1 inspiring human 10 questions about how they are using cycling as a force for good. Now there are inspiring people, and then there are INSPIRING people (caps intended). Read on to meet Leo Rodgers, bike advocate, mechanic, and dad (and amputee cyclist). His website states “in 2007, he was involved in a motorcycle accident that significantly changed his life. He has turned this unfortunate event into a positive opportunity to inspire others. He states that riding bicycles is an outlet for him and gives him peace of mind. Leo is currently competing in Paralympic events working towards his goal of winning the gold medal in Cycling – Track & Road…Leo hopes that representing his country at the Paralympics could also be a stepping stone to becoming a motivational speaker and that his story can help others.” He’s a remarkable dude and just exudes positivity. I got in touch with Leo last year but didn’t get the opportunity to complete the interview until the last few weeks; so glad I did! Learn more about how he fell in love with cycling, his most epic ride, and more about how he’s using bikes to do good, in this 1×10 interview. All photos by James Luedde.

Here’s a link to a recent piece by Bicycling

1. How / why did you fall in love with cycling?

The culture and the people. Bikes have given me freedom to be mobile in every situation mental and physical. Bikes are a great outlet when I need a mental break during tough times. 

Photo by James Luedde

“Bikes have given me freedom to be mobile in every situation mental and physical.”

2. Favorite Bike (that you own or covet)?

My Crust Bombora, its does everything and looks good. 

3. What’s the most memorable ride you’ve done, and what happened?

Grinduro in 2019 in California was definitely the most memorable. A serious climb for hours, an epic view at the top and downhill that seemed like forever. All while feeling alone in the wild. It was mental and physical challenge you will never forget. The party at the end and the people involved made it all worth it. 

Photo by James Luedde

“A serious climb for hours, an epic view at the top and downhill that seemed like forever. All while feeling alone in the wild.”

4. Who do you admire in the cycling world?

Major Taylor looking back to the past and Todd Keys currently. 

Photo by James Luedde

5. Top tip for a new rider, or a cyclist about to take on a new challenge?

Nutrition and hydration probably go to the top of the list. 

6. Favorite trend or innovation in cycling?

Anything single speed… the growth in off-road and gravel riding. 

Photo by James Luedde

7. What are you doing to use cycling as a force for good?

From my perspective having someone in the community plays a big role in getting people out and on bikes. I host a number of rides in my community. It’s really an inclusive environment. I would like to see individuals in the communities step up to help get everyone riding. I personally use my influence and group rides to bring people together. We all come from different places, races and walks of life. We share a common bond and live life to it’s best with positive energy. The bicycle is my tool. 

Photo by James Luedde

“I personally use my influence and group rides to bring people together. We all come from different places, races and walks of life.”

8. Thinking about the work you’re doing, what do you see as the potential change for people or the planet? If you are successful, what impact will you have?

More bikes, less pollution, the physical and mental benefits of biking making a change for the better in our communities. 

Photo by James Luedde

9. What’s your biggest challenge/obstacle to success?

The biggest challenge has been balancing family and being a dad with making moves to get myself out there to continue on this journey to tell my story. 

Photo by James Luedde

10. How can people help? Where can they learn more about your work?

First and foremost the overall encouragement and support is the fuel to keep me going to do more. I hope to travel more and reach more people and there are obviously expenses tied to that. I would like to partner with brands that share my vision and goals. 

Leo Rodgers is a bicycle advocate, mechanic, and dad based in Tampa, FL – he also happens to be an amputee cyclist. When he’s not out cranking at his bike shop, you can find him leading group rides in and around his hometown.

Edited by John Kim. When he’s not out for a ride, John uses his expertise in Corporate Social Responsibility to help companies do well by doing good. Find him at virtcyc@gmail.com or VirtCyc on twitter or instagram.

One Comment Add yours

  1. Patrick Wise says:

    Great! Thanks for your sharing. His fighting spirit and overcoming his circumstances are admirable. It is an example of positive energy that we should follow. And it’s nice that the bike is a friend that helps him lead a more active life. For me too, a bicycle is an eco-friendly friend, a great solution for me after stressful working days. I hope his story will inspire more people and have more people use this eco-friendly friend.

    Like

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