Michael Watkins will participate for the 2nd time in the Leadville Trail 100 MTB race on August 14, 2022, in Leadville, CO. The trail race is widely considered one of the toughest mountain biking races in the country.
My name is Michael Watkins and I’m a cyclist…check that…I’m a cycling para-athlete, a para cyclist.
t has taken me a long, long time to come to grips with that reality, but that is what I am. I have ridden and raced bicycles for over 40 years. You can say it’s kinda my thing — it is what I love to do and it often defines who I am, where I go on vacation, who I hang out with, and what I watch on TV. We are a very small portion of society, cyclists, there are tons of people who ride bikes, but not all of them are cyclists. Of that small piece of society, a smaller sliver of that piece is where I fit into the picture, a para cyclist.
I have a disease called Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease (CMT), a hereditary peripheral neuropathy, which in layman’s terms is a hereditary nerve disease in my arms, hands, legs, and feet. When you have CMT, your nerves lose almost all of their ability to transmit signals from the brain to the muscles in your limbs which in most cases (like mine) leads to severe muscle weakness and atrophy. CMT has mostly affected my legs and feet, but in the past 4 to 5 years I started to have symptoms in my hands and my legs have gotten noticeably weaker…not exactly great news if you consider yourself a cyclist, I mean a para cyclist.
Please support me in reaching my fundraising goal. All donations will go directly to fund research for this disease.