Eastern Iowa Man Continues to Cycle Despite Debilitating Stroke
A man from Marion, Iowa, named Richard Greer, refused to quit trying to get back on his bike, despite life throwing a wrench in his chain. Bicycling is one of the most popular outdoor sports/activities in the state of Iowa and this Iowan wasn't going to let a severe stroke prevent him from getting back to one of his favorite hobbies.
To have something you love taken away from you can be a pretty depressing situation to find yourself in, especially if it's something you've been doing your entire life. Marion's own, Richard Greer, suffered a stroke 8 and half years ago that left him completely disabled. He spoke to KCRG about the struggles he suffered when his stroke first happened.
When I first had my stroke I was really disabled. I couldn’t even sit up in bed without help.
As a lifelong bicyclist, Richard has put in some miles on his tires and his legs. Hundreds of them in fact. He's been a part of riding in century bike races in years past and one of his highlights was back in 1995. He told KCRG
I’ve been a bike rider my whole life. I used to ride a lot of centuries, and the highlight was in 1995 I when I rode the Davis double, which is a double century ride, 200 miles.
Anyone who's seen someone go through the aftermath of a stroke knows how difficult the process can be to get back to normal. The sad fact is, not everyone completely recovers from a stroke. Sometimes someone who's suffered a stroke will have lifelong disabilities.
While Richard admits to not being able to walk or talk very well, he is incredibly happy to be back on his bike again. Through a tough rehab process and with the help from Northtown Cycling, Richard is able to get back to doing something he loves. Northtown Cycling built a custom bike that has put Richard back on the bike trails. He told KCRG,
I am always disabled I can’t even walk very well, but when I get on my trike I feel like I’m not disabled anymore. I feel free. It helps me physically and emotionally and mentally. I just love it.
RAGBRAI 2023 is hoping to set a Guinness World Record for attendees next summer. It might be tough but I wouldn't be surprised if we see Richard making a push to be a part of that race in some capacity. I sure wouldn't bet against him.