WUFT News

Gainesville a stop on hand cyclist’s charity ride through Florida

By on February 22nd, 2013

Hand-cyclist Rich Dixon is coming through Gainesville Saturday wrapping up his 1,000-mile journey across Florida.

Dixon, a Colorado resident, is raising awareness for Convoy of Hope, an organization providing disaster response, hunger relief and community outreach around the world. Dixon has been riding across Florida proving that being handicapped doesn’t have to be a disability.

Dixon said he’s always dreamed of doing a cross-country ride, realizing he was able to accomplish his dream and share it by helping others.

“I believe when you chase a dream it ought to be about something more than just you and your own personal things,” he said.

Dixon discovered Convoy of Hope through his church, and decided to partner with the organization because of its contributions to hurricane relief in Florida.

He doesn’t solicit, but people have contributed generously in the past. Although, he said he doesn’t have expectations on the amount of donations they’ll receive because it isn’t about the money.

“However much money we raise, I believe that God will use it in a huge way,” he said.

His strong faith in God has had a huge impact on his injury recovery and helping him find his identity.

In December 1987, Dixon fell off a roof while installing Christmas lights, damaging his spinal cord and leaving him paralyzed in both legs. A concerned friend introduced him to hand cycling in 1999 to help Dixon get active.

“The first time I got on I couldn’t wait to do it again,” he said.

Dixon said besides raising awareness, his journey reflects his own self-discovery through strong Christian faith and acceptance of his injury. He uses his accomplishments to prove to himself and others that life is not just about image, and he is more than just a wheelchair.

He biked over 25,000 miles in many locations across the country,  riding along the Mississippi river in 2011 in response to the destructive tornadoes that passed through the area.

When people look in the mirror, they tend to see their failures, limitations and mistakes first, Dixon said. Instead people need to see themselves as possibilities, opportunities and abilities.

“We’re not our limitations. That’s not how we ought to define ourselves,” he said.

This summer Dixon plans to ride over 400 miles around the Colorado Rockies and is planning more for Florida.

Audreyanna Loguerre wrote this story online. 


This entry was posted in Florida and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
 

More Stories in Florida

Garrett Holeve poses in the sunlight shining through a room full of punching bags at American Top Team in Weston. Florida on Oct. 19. Despite having Down syndrome, Garrett has proven himself to be a formidable opponent in mixed martial arts, or MMA. “You have to adjust a little bit, but you don’t want to go too easy on him either,” said John De Jesus, professional MMA fighter and occasional sparring partner for Garrett. “You can’t let him connect on you because he’ll knock you out!”

G-Money: In The Cage With Down Syndrome

Garrett “G” Holeve has Down syndrome, but his condition isn’t stopping him from pursuing his passion — mixed martial arts. G will face David Steffan on Nov. 8 in a long overdue fight against the odds.


Cassidy, an 18-month-old Lab/American Bulldog mix who was part of Academy 14 and his inmate trainer.

Paws On Parole Looking To Continue Perfect Adoption Rate

The Alachua County Animal Services and Florida Department of Corrections Work Camp is working together with this year’s “Hairy Pawter” dog academy to prepare a new group of house-trained dogs for homes.


A wild hog mills around outside the runway enclosure of Williston Municipal Airport. The hogs often explore around a water source by the neighboring rock quarry, Barry said.

Hog Infestation Halts Historic Airport Runway

A hog infestation at Williston Municipal Airport’s grass runway is causing delays in the approval of the runway by the Federal Aviation Administration.


Photos of the "Incredible Flying Cars," made by ITEC.

The Men Behind the Flying Car That Crashed in Marion County

A flying car crashed on Tuesday in Marion County after going on an orientation flight. Two passengers suffered minor injuries but are currently safe.


Gov. Scott Announced Funding For Final Phase Of Restoration Projects

Florida Gov. Rick Scott announced funding for the third and largest phase of early restoration projects to combat the Deepwater Horizon (BP) Oil Spill of 2010 on Oct. 7. Although $100 million was allocated to Florida by the Deepwater Horizon [...]


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Day Sponsorship Payments
Underwriting Payments