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Jessica Cox is champing at the bit to get on the bike and ride. At least ride more than she has been able to, given the parameters of the COVID-19 pandemic.
But she’s ready, willing and able to once it all calms down.
“The only thing I don’t like doing is riding in the heat, so I have to get out in the early hours,” said Cox, founder of Rightfootedfoundation.org. “So, it’s about 5 in the morning for maybe 12-13 miles.”
Such is life for this year’s Dedication Recipient of the 38th El Tour de Tucson. Get out, keep busy and help promote the ride and her foundation, one that strives to mentor, educate, inspire and advocate for people with disabilities.
In addition to being a cyclist, Jessica is best known for becoming the first armless pilot in aviation history.
“Rightfooted Foundation International is my dream to give children with disabilities the gift of confidence by providing opportunities in a world that too often tells them they can’t,” Cox said.
View her inspiring video here.
She spends her time inspiring through words and deeds. Soon, she’ll be leading group rides to get ready for El Tour. Most recently, she spent time riding with the Southern Arizona Adaptive Sports cyclists and enjoyed every minute.
It’s all about El Tour while on a bike for now. Just recently she picked up a couple of riders for her foundation after they saw her nonprofit listed on the El Tour website.
“They said it was their charity of choice because they liked the message and vision of what Rightfooted Foundation is trying to do,” she said. “Hearing that was so special because people seeing what the work we are doing and being recognized for makes me excited about it.”
Point is – any one can ride for her foundation. And they do. She just wants them to be inspired.
“My focus right now is getting people (to ride and help her with hers) who are connected to disabilities in some way to ride,” she said.
She’s hoping her connection to El Tour gets her message out – and helps El Tour at the same time – about helping people with disabilities and the awareness that is needed.
“They are everywhere,” she said. “They are our neighbors, our teachers, our classmates so making it as normal as possible will make people more accepting of differences. That’s one of the goals of the El Tour partnership, getting us out in the public’s eye.”
It’s by letting them see more modified bikes on the roads. Just recently, she met someone on Facebook who had a disability and they got together to ride. As it turns out, the cyclists’ girlfriend is part of a family that provides horses for people with disabilities to ride.
“That might help connect us to people with disabilities (to possibly ride bikes),” she said. “It’s really about the connecting power of what I’m doing.”
To register to ride for Jessica’s Foundation click here.
Please visit Jessica’s website at Jessicacox.com.