Local man still rides BMX track despite being paralyzed

During Sunday's Carson City BMX race at the Edmonds Sports Complex, Trevor Snowden made exhibition runs on his four-wheel "Electroquad."

Snowden, who was paralyzed from the waist down in a snowboarding accident in 1997, is working on a production model of the battery-powered vehicle. He describes it as part BMX bike, part electric wheelchair and part off-road motorcycle.

He jumped 2 feet in the air off a "table top" on the dirt track while racers and their families cheered.

"Look at him go," hollered the announcer. "He's got four-wheel disc brakes --Ethe car I drove here in doesn't even have four-wheel disc brakes!" Snowden's rig also has full independent suspension.

After he finished, young BMX riders in black-and-red race gear asked questions.

"I think it's great because it gives all the people who are disabled a chance to race BMX," said Matt Pool of Reno, who placed first in his category, or "moto."

"If that hits product, all the people that dream of racing will be able to race and go to nationals. It's one of the best ideas in the ABA I've seen yet." He was referring to the American Bicycle Association, which sanctions most BMX races.

Snowden transported his Electroquad to the track from Indian Hills in a customized Dodge Van.

"It's like a garage on wheels," he said as he prepared the Electroquad for riding.

Eight-year-old C.J. "Corndog" Loomis hung around outside the van, asking if he could try it.

Snowden is a one-man race team, acting as van driver, pit boss, electrician, mechanic and racer. He's working on a new model that will be half the weight with a wider wheel base and twice the power.

"Then I'll be able to do 40, and that's fine," he said with smile.

The newer, faster version will be a production prototype he can take to manufacturers.

"This one is sort of the prototype prototype," he said.

He hopes to create something that can be mass produced so other people in wheelchairs can ride the Electroquad.

"That way, they'll have the opportunity to do something other than wheelchair basketball and tennis. And it'd be so cool that all the kids would want one."

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