Get access to everything we publish when you sign up for Outside+.
Six years ago, Paul Basagoitia was a household name in freeride, pushing the limits of progression at events like Red Bull Rampage and Crankworx, when a life-changing spinal cord injury from a crash at Rampage in 2015 halted his career. Documenting an unprecedented glimpse into the world of spinal cord injuries, the film “Any One of Us” provided an intimate look at Paul’s journey. But he hasn’t stopped writing the next chapter.
Raised in a motel room with little chance of escaping the small-town Nevada lifestyle, the bike became Paul’s key to checking out – competing on a global scale with the best athletes in the world, building his own 30-acre training compound and ultimately burning out due to the pressures and strains of what started as a fun escape from a less than desirable home life.
“Any perspective in my life, the bike has always been there to save me.If it wasn’t for the bike, I wouldn’t have gotten out of that hotel room. Winning Crankworx brought a new dynamic to my life,” said Basagoitia. “But that resulted in its own challenges with the demands of competition and corporate sponsorships weighing on me.”
Today, improvements in his post-injury physical abilities combined with the rise of the e-bike has led Paul to discover a new course to compete on in life, going beyond the realm of core mountain biking to motivate others who are struggling and introduce them to his most crucial piece of mental and physical therapy.
“We spread the love and we want to go ride and enjoy those smiles together, and help each other in any way we can. I love it.”
The first installment of Ride Concepts’ Ride Every Day video series, The Bass Way chronicles the next segment in Paul’s journey, capturing the newfound joy that ebikes and a second chance have provided, while sharing this experience with others and focusing on helping adaptive athletes get out and ride, and fight their battles.
Ride Concepts is a rider-owned bike footwear company based in Reno, Nevada. High Fives Foundation was formed as a way to “pay-it-forward” by the founder and focuses on preventing life-changing injuries and provides resources and hope if they happen. For more information, visit www.rideconcepts.com and www.highfivesfoundation.org.