Seth McBride is riding a hand cycle on a yearlong, 10,000-mile cycling trip from Portland, Oregon, to Patagonia, Argentina with his partner, Kelly Schwan, and he's quadriplegic, according to NBC News.
McBride hopes to become the first person with quadriplegia to finish a trans-continental cycle tour without a support crew.
"We're sort of a dog-and-pony show with my hand cycle and her huge, loaded-down bike," McBride told NBC News. "Lots of times people can be unsure if they see someone in a wheelchair what to say, or they feel a little awkward.
"The hand cycle doesn't elicit the same response, because maybe they don't know what it is or they don't know I use a wheelchair," he continued. "We've had great conversations because people are curious."
The journey has led to a cover story on National Geographic Traveler, which is celebrating 18 "individuals who travel with passion and purpose, have an exceptional story to tell and...can inspire us all."
McBride left Portland on September 22 and hoped to cross the border into Mexico on Saturday.
"Kelly and I have done enough travel together, we knew we're good travel partners," McBride told NBC News. "That's one of the things that brought us closer together.
"Knowing that in weird and stressful situations we're compatible and work together was a pretty great thing to know," McBride added. "We get a lot of strength being around each other."
McBride was paralyzed in s skiing accident when he was 17, and he travels on a hand cycle, with his wheelchair in tow. He has to rely only on his arm strength to pedal, so Schwann, who has use of her legs, is towing all the gear for the entire trip, which totals over 100 pounds.
Schwann hopes their trip encourages others to "get out and move and see how it changes their perspective."
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