LEWISTON — While the Dempsey Challenge doesn’t officially start until Saturday, two events open to the public will take place Thursday, both involving two of the world’s fastest cyclists.

— Paralympic handcyclist and 2012 gold medal winner Matt Updike of Denver, Colo., will share his inspirational story in “Moving on with Matt Updike.” The free presentation will take place at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Patrick Dempsey Center for Cancer Hope & Healing, 29 Lowell St.

Updike was injured in an automobile accident in 1997, which left him paralyzed from the chest down. An avid skier and cyclist prior to the accident, Updike made his way back into his two passions and began professional handcycling in 2000.

— Professional cyclist Fast Freddie Rodriguez, along with the Bicycle Coalition of Maine, the Dempsey Challenge and Positive Tracks, will present Kids Bike-A-Palooza. The kids’ event will celebrate bikes, bike skills and bike safety from 4 to 5:30 p.m. Thursday at the Auburn-Lewiston YMCA. Children will have the opportunity to learn about helmets, the rules of the road, balance and handling, as well as basic technical skills. As a bonus, each participant will receive a specialized helmet and a goodie bag.

For a full schedule of Dempsey Challenge events, go to: http://www.dempseychallenge.org/schedule-of-events.


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