Dawn broke over Horse Ridge lighting up Millican Valley, 25 miles east of Bend, Oregon. It was September 26, 1982, and the dust already lay in a suspended sheet in the crisp desert air, stirred up by anxious motorcycle racers doing their last minute tuning and testing. September! That is no time for desert racing but I wasn't going to miss out.
When the start time arrived, 200 riders stood over their silent mounts waiting for the gun to report. The world went dead silent except for the clicking of recoiling kick starters from riders trying to keep their engines tight on the compression stroke. Dead engine start. With the blast of the 12 gauge, a gnashing hoard of racers pounded through the sage and lava rock, heading for a distant point marking the trail head and the start of a 100-mile off-road race.
My little 250 Husqvarna couldn't quite match the power of the open class bikes in the silty soil. I found myself unable to see the ground in front of me -- too dusty -- and was reading the terrain over the shoulders of the riders in front of me. I never saw it coming. The rear of my bike kicked up and hit me in the tail so hard it knocked me over the handle bars.
I could have written the book on how to crash gracefully, but this time I didn't get launched clear off. I found myself sliding over the bars at 50 miles an hour, staring at the spokes in the front wheel and trying to keep my hands clear. No, I did not get a chance to plan my landing. I hit chest down in the sage and lava rock. My T-5 was broken and that was that.
Ok. Now what? After rehab it became apparent that staying in any sort of shape was not going to be all that easy. Exercising in a chair in rural Oregon just doesn't work that well. Finding a suitable location, getting there, waiting for weather is okay in the beginning. But no matter who you think you are, you can become lazy in a chair.
There is always an excuse. It's too wet. Dogs hate wheelchairs and chase you to the ends of the earth. It's too hot. It's too cold. Temperature, in fact, is a huge deal. Many people don't realize that most people with spinal cord injuries don't sweat from the break point down. It is like a car running with a dry radiator.
I pondered what to do to make exercising easier. One day, while at the DEQ back when they put your vehicle on a roller while measuring your emissions, bang! I had it. The Paramill was born. This beautiful machine lets you exercise in the comfort of indoors, though your distance and terrain are limitless. The neat thing is you don't need anyone to assist you getting on or off.
This is your own private road.
If you're in a wheelchair, this treadmill is for you. I hope you enjoy my invention, born from my years of research and development. I certainly do.
Larry Pestes, Inventor