Keep on rolling, wheelchair cyclist ready for Spring Cycle

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE)- This Saturday thousands of area bike riders will participate in the 2023 Fort4Fitness Spring Cycle. One rider in the crowd will be returning but in a different way. Participants have numerous reasons to cycle from completing a goal to just enjoying the ride, for John Drebinstead getting on two wheels means a lot more.

Drebinstead has been an avid cyclist, runner and soccer player for many years. He has participated in multiple Fort4Fitness races including Spring Cycles. A few years ago Drebinstead and his wife Heather rode in a 50 mile cycle race.

Things then took a turn for the worse that made Drebinstead adjust to a new way of living.

“I had been diagnosed with low brain pressure, which I really didn’t know what that was, but unfortunately, I continued to do what I had been doing and playing soccer,” said Drebinstead. “One night I actually took a ball to the head, which left me with a brain bleed and an emergency craniotomy that then led to what’s called a blood patch so that all worked well.”

Unfortunately, Drebinstead had an infection while he was having surgery and that led to a second blood patch and left too much blood in his spinal cord and had a spinal cord injury. Everyday living can be a challenge but Drebinstead is close to driving again and is still working.

“It’s a matter of just changing my life enough to maybe revisit what I had before but also just continuing on and and then going forward,” Drebinstead said.

Drebinstead has been riding a hand cycle at the indoor track at Turnstone to prepare for the 8 mile race on Saturday. He is thrilled to be apart of the spring cycle once again.

“Just kind of getting back into doing things I’m used to doing and this will be the first event that I’ve officially participated in,” said Drebinstead. “That’s just a happiness factor that lets me be a part of everything again.”

Drebinstead will have family members cheering him on during the 8 mile race and will even have one of those members helping him along the way.