Steve Richter is hoping to raise funds for a lighter, more competitive hand cycle.
Steve Richter is hoping to raise funds for a lighter, more competitive hand cycle. Steve Richter

Cyclist seeks helping hand

STEVE Richter’s back is full of metal - two rods and 12 screws all up, and a sizeable scar to go with them.

Some screws can even be seen when he takes his shirt off.

The former photographer, his wife Fiona and daughter Lauren had their lives changed forever two years ago when he went over his motorbike’s handlebars.

What was supposed to be a fun weekend with friends at Fraser Island turned into a tragedy when Mr Richter hit the ground. Mr Richter was left a paraplegic.

“I knew straight away when I landed,” he said.

Mr Richter was then dealt the task of relearning how to do daily duties while he spent four months in hospital and a further month in a transition house. But he said the real task started with he returned to his Kepnock home.

“The frustration kicks in because you return to a previous life and the realisation that everything has changed,” he said.

Mrs Richter said it was a heartbreaking experience visiting her husband in hospital.

“Seeing your husband in that sort of state, he was so bruised you could barely recognise him, it was devastating,” she said.

Mr Richter, who has been involved with the Bundaberg Cycling Club for the past seven years, said normality came to him when he started hand cycling. Mr Richter now rides 200km a week, reaching speeds of 50kmh, but averaging 20 to 22kmh. He has started excelling at state and national level and is now looking for sponsors to help him continue his ambition, by buying a lighter, more competitive cycle.

“Later on down the track, Steve might get back into photography but with the trauma, he deserves a couple of years to do what he wants to do,” his wife said.

Anyone wanting to sponsor Mr Richter can call the family on 4151 5705 or 0413 457 284.



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