Beginning October 2nd, with 50 mph headwinds in his face, Rich Dixon began a 500-mile hand-cycle ride from Taos, N.M., to Tucson, Ariz., all in a month’s time to support Convoy of Hope’s efforts to help the impoverished around the world. With his wife Becky and their Labrador retriever named Monte at his side, Rich rode an average of 40 miles a day to spread the message that, “hope changes what’s possible.” Hope has changed what’s possible for Rich and he believes it changes what’s possible for children facing the injustice of hunger in America and around the world.
Now in his early sixties, Rich Dixon has lived paralyzed from his chest down for over 20 years – a fact that describes Rich, but definitely doesn’t define him. After a ten-year struggle to find a way forward, Rich discovered hand cycling. In only a few years he went from barely being able to push himself in a wheelchair to cycling over 1,000 miles in a single summer. He decided that wasn’t enough and tackled a 1600-mile ride from the beginning of the Mississippi River in Itasca, Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico in New Orleans in only three short months. Since then, Rich just finished his fifth ride, Taos to Tucson 2013, calling it a “continuation of a dream.”
When exhaustion kept Rich from reaching his daily average, his wife Becky filled the gap and finished for him. They powered through no matter how windy or difficult, proving the power of hope with each mile. Along the trek, Rich stopped at 14 schools and churches to talk about Convoy of Hope and share his story of overcoming life’s challenges.
“Too many people dwell on their limitations,” Rich says. “That’s not what life is supposed to be about. We were created with this amazing ability to overcome obstacles.”
Taos to Tucson in one month is no longer an obstacle, but rather one more waypoint in Rich’s rear view mirror, pointing others towards hope.