2,450 miles, 25 days, 1 adaptive hand bike. Quinn Brett, an accomplished athlete who also happens to be paraplegic, became the first documented adaptive cyclist to complete the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route this past June. Armed with a custom Reactive Adaptations handcycle equipped with a built-in motor, Quinn and biking partner Joe Foster set off on the annual Great Divide Mountain Bike Route from this year’s starting point in Eureka, Montana, to Antelope Wells, New Mexico. They labored through 149,664 feet of vertical gain, over a trail littered with obstacles that would make any mountain biker do a double take – fallen tree limbs, heat waves, and those pesky tipping points while climbing. And yet, Quinn charged on with the help of her handcycle’s built-in motor that assisted her ascents, powered along the way with our Yeti 3000X.
Quinn is no stranger to adapting. Once an accomplished triathlete, rock climber, and mountain runner, she was forced to take a different path after surviving a 100-foot fall during an ascent of the Nose of El Capitan. Paralyzed from the waist down and faced with what seemed to be insurmountable limitations, Quinn only knew one thing: “I need to move.”
And power move she did – her completion of the Great Divide was not just a personal achievement, but also served as proof that those with disabilities can still access the backcountry. Quinn’s partnership and fundraiser with the nonprofit Kelly Brush Foundation for this ride aimed to fund the purchase of adaptive bikes and equipment to be stored near national park sites, so that all who have had to adapt are provided the opportunity to explore. Her motivation to do and be better quite literally paves the way to greater access to the outdoor world for all abilities.
Quinn intends to keep charging, and we’re taking notes. The Goal Zero team is grateful to be a part of this collaboration and stoked to have been able to support Quinn’s resilient spirit and out-of-this-world drive. We can’t wait to see what power move she’ll take on next.