THE very nature of a bicycle requires the use of legs — an enormous amount of effort from the lower limbs to power the two-wheeled ride.
But this cyclist proves that it's not impossible to cycle competitively with just a single leg. Not when it's a game of "How bad do you want this?"
"Kapansanan lang 'yan. May kakayahan ako, hindi hadlang 'yan," Edison Badillo, a 20-year-old biker told SPIN Life.
Over the pandemic lockdown which started early March of last year, Badillo decided to rekindle his interest in bikes.
This was partly a matter of necessity, as there was no other available form of transportation at that time. It was a pandemic restriction that hit many PWDs hard.
As a para-athlete, he also needed ways to keep himself physically active since trainings and practices weren't allowed. Ed participates in the National Para Games, playing sports like wheelchair basketball, high-jump and long-jump, and swimming.
"Last August 2020 lang ako nagsimula [uli] mag-bike. Tapos December, pinakamalayong narating ko sa Atimonan, Quezon (the location of the famous zigzag road). Mga 300 kilometers yon, [balikan]. Kasama ko mga ka-grupo ko sa Rizal Bikers Club," he said.
He'd actually started biking when he was just in elementary school. Despite being born with one leg, the fifth child from a family of nine, learned to cycle from one of his kuyas.
But like many of us, the quarantine paved the way for him to re-discover the sport.
"Nagkaroon ako ng grupo, 'yung Rizal Bikers Club, [at] ako lang may kapansanan doon. Pero marami silang nagpapa-motivate sa akin," the Pasig City-based biker said. "Lagi kaming nag-e-ensayo, umaakyat, ahon, ganon. Pati ako, mag-isa, umaakyat ako ng Antipolo, solo ride. Pinipilit ko talagang makasabay."
Even from when he was still a kid, Badillo was shy and timid. But the warm welcome from the community of cycling helped him build his confidence.
"Mahiyain kasi talaga ako, pero pag nagra-ride, maraming bumabati sayo, so binabati ko rin sila. Kunwari, nag-e-ensayo ako mag-isa, pa-akyat, may mga kasabay ako na gusto nang sumuko, pero nakikita nila ko na tuloy pa rin, na-i-inspire sila," he shared.
On top of his sports interests, he is also a third year computer engineering student at ICCT Colleges. He only decided not to enroll this semester because he wasn't comfortable with the online class system.
So, over the lockdown, it was his cycling journey that kept him going.
"Malaking bagay sa akin 'tong ginagawa ko kasi nakaka-inspire ako ng iba, lalo na sa mga katulad kong may kapansanan, tuloy lang sa pagpapakita ng kakayahan," he added.
Badillo also recently met the popular cyclist-vlogger Aira Lopez. He even visited her in Pampanga.
Lopez shared she was in constant communication with Badillo through social media and she was glad to finally meet him in person.
"Sobrang nakaka-inspire siya. Nakakasabay talaga siya sa ibang bikers, ganon kalakas. Lagi siyang nanonood ng vlogs natin at matagal na natin siyang nakaka-chat kaya happy ako na na-meet na natin siya," Lopez shared in her video.
Aira even gifted him a brand new road bike, which inspired Badillo even more.
"Thank you po Papa Louie and Aira sa new bike, patuloy po akong papadyak," he said.