Adaptiv Sports

Casey is part of the Adaptiv Sports community. Her story provides a deeper understanding of life after her injury and insight into how the adaptive mountain bike scene is developing.

Casey sustained a spinal injury following a mountain biking accident while out with her partner and friends. The severity of the incident led to a spinal fracture and an extensive 7-hour emergency surgery following her airlift to the Hospital. Post-surgery, Casey and her family received news that her ability to walk again was unlikely due to the extensive damage to her spinal cord.

Her remarkable positivity and determination serve as an inspiration. Casey recently won MBUK rider of the year and is leading the direction for the female adaptive riding scene. We had the opportunity to ask some questions about her lifestyle, what bikes she currently rides and her favorite trail destinations.


Adaptive Sports Community

Not long after her injury, Casey met Jack, an adaptive rider and co-founder of Adaptiv Sports. They spoke while he was working in peer support in the spinal unit and told her about adaptive cycling. Casey explained how the meeting gave her hope that she would be able to ride again.

Conquering her initial fear and hesitation, she returned to the trails on an adaptive bike. She met Jack again during a fundraiser organised by dirt sister of shred at Exeter Bike Park. She described how she felt at home riding with an incredible community and partner riding behind her.

Casey described the feeling of riding with Jack for the first time:

“It was so great to ride with someone else who understood adaptive riding first hand, we discussed maintenance tips and it provided a safe space for me to push my limits.”

Overcoming challenges such as muscle spasms, she explained how Adaptiv Sports were able to help with her bike setup. This included adaptions such as additional padding, to help ease the spasms. She highlighted the significance of accessibility in making her riding experience enjoyable.

At the time, Casey owned an all-electric Bowhead Reach and used it for more extreme riding, and also had a conventional ‘delta’ handbike for fitness. She arranged a demo day with Adaptiv Sports to try the Bowhead RX handcycle as an alternative that offered a different riding style.

“The RX was quite another level to the e-bike I had ridden previously, it was more like the mountain biking I was used to as it was self-powered and felt like a different experience. For me, the Bowhead Reach is like riding my downhill bike. I can ride most of the trails I had previously before my accident and keep up with my able-bodied friends. Meanwhile, the RX is more comparable to my trail bike. It is great fun, a great workout and it’s great to work for the downhills again! The demo day and the opportunity to ride with others made me feel comfortable to try new things. I ended up ordering one straight away”


Adaptive MTB development

There is growing interest nationally (and worldwide) in facilitating adaptive mountain biking by making trails accessible, providing amenities, and teaching a deeper understanding of accessible requirements. However, it seems there is still a long way to go.

Casey explained that there is growing representation with events such as Malvern Classics and recognition from British Cycling and Trail Centres; however, she would like to see more representation across media, magazines, and brands.

“The adaptive mountain biking scene is growing with more inclusivity in the sport, but there is still a long way to go. Unfortunately, there is a distinctive lack of female representation, which I would love to see grow. With the developments in bike parks such as Bike Park Wales, building trails and accessibility, it would be great for more to facilitate others’ involvement.”

Bike Park Wales (BPW), Forest of Dean (FOD), Forestry England, and National Resources Wales have been working with Adaptiv Sports to develop trails and accessibility to their parks. They have also been working with insurance companies to review permitted bikes in the parks.



Most Memorable Moments

Her most memorable experience was when she embarked on her first adaptive mountain biking race. This was put on as a fundraiser event just a few months after her accident. The race took part at the same location as her accident. Despite the overwhelming emotions tied to the location, she was keen to participate and arrived smiling. She initially found the practice sessions challenging as she familiarised herself with riding techniques. One other adapted rider joined her in tackling the same track. At that moment, she felt a sense of belonging and familiarity, as if she had found her home once again within the biking community.


Challenges Faced

Dealing with spasms is one of Caseys biggest daily challenges, especially as vibrations exacerbate them and pull her to the right side. “It’s been a real challenge to control the bike while constantly tugging in that direction. But with some adjustments, like adding padding to one side to level things out, and having advice from Adaptiv Sports to help set up the bike just right, things have become more manageable.”

She explained that one of her biggest challenges was the ability to ride independently, which required help getting in and out of the bike and access to necessities such as toilets. More still needs to be done to develop simple things such as access and accessible toilets. Something bike parks are starting to address.



Favorite Trails and Destinations

We asked Casey to recommend her top adaptive trails from everyday riding to extreme.

Gawton Gravity Hub—The HSD trail is one of her top favorites, with its smooth, flowing multi-hit lines and easy-going curves. Ridden at speed, it becomes a rollercoaster challenge, full of opportunities to get the adrenaline flowing.

Woodys Bike Park – From flow blue fun for all abilities to more advanced trail riding, a great range of riding is available.

Grogley Woods—This area has some great natural trails, some of which require a bit more local navigation knowledge. They are worth researching in advance using sites such as Trailforks.

Camel trail: This trail offers More everyday riding and is great. They recently changed the gates, which makes it much more accessible.

Lanhydrok—The National Trust park has invested in making its trails more accessible and fun, including building the dual slalom accessible to adaptive bikes.




Gear and Equipment

Casey is a part of Team Bowhead and has two of their bikes. Adaptiv Sports has supplied Casey with the Bowhead Reach, Which is a full electric more suited to more extreme MTB and the pedal assist Bowhead RX, which is also extremely capable but requires human power and is more suited to riding with conventional bikes

Casey has specific adaptions on her bikes to tailor them to her specific needs, these include a swivel seat to make her transfers easier, and custom gel padding to assist with her postural requirements – along with all the obligatory anodised shiny bits! She discussed the significance of how the tailored equipment enhances the overall biking experience.


Advice for Aspiring Adaptive Riders

Casey is passionate about sharing her voice and inspiring others. She explains that there are great communities for accessing outdoor sports through local spinal community networks or social media groups.

“If you can think of a sport – Theres someone out there doing it, it’s worth researching on social media or online. There is a tribe out there waiting for you.”

Follow Caseys story

Adaptiv Sports promotes inclusivity and accessibility in outdoor sports through customised adaptive equipment, including mountain bikes, wheelchairs, and gym equipment. Based in the heart of Dorset, with a friendly and approachable team, we offer no obligation to purchase and demonstration days to experience adaptive riding firsthand. We offer guidance and instruction on safe equipment usage, following a structured plan and providing all relevant details and support.

Find out more about our demo days
Please don’t hesitate to contact us for a discussion or guidance on entering the world of adaptive riding or setting up equipment.
Call us on: 01258 423228



Discover our range of bowhead and schmicking bikes at our base in dorset!

Want to try out our Bowhead reach closer to home?
No problem – Get in touch and we can arrange to come to you!