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Alberta engineer’s mountain trike, Icon Explore, opens up the trails to riders of all abilities

Christian Bagg developed the Icon Explore after breaking his back in 1996.

For Christian Bagg, a mechanical designer with the Medical Physics Design Lab at Calgary’s Tom Baker Cancer Centre, the obstacles encountered when breaking his back were nothing that kept him out of the saddle. If anything, they simply involved inventing new ones.

And as the Calgary Herald reports, that’s exactly what he did.

A little over 20 years ago, according to the Herald, Bagg broke his back during a snowboarding competition — Kokanee Big Air — at Sunshine Village in April 1996. “I cleared the flats,” he told Herald reporters. “I cleared everything by a long shot. The landing wasn’t steep enough. Well, whatever, I broke my back.”

The following two decades after the accident found Bagg, 42, not only supporting medical physicists involved in cancer treatment, using his engineering knowledge to fashion perfect replicas of the human body, but developing other life-affirming creations through his inestimable expertise.

That’s where Bagg’s Icon Explore, a tri-wheel mountain bike, comes in.

Labouring over the lathes and drill presses of his machine shop, Bagg created the Explore as the pinnacle — to date — of his engineering experience. “It just so happens that I like to be outside,” he told the Herald, explaining the impetus for the development of his recumbent mountain bike. Enabling differently-abled cyclists to ride thanks to its tri-wheel design, the adaptive mountain bike — equipped with disc brakes along with front and rear suspension — involves the rider tucked into a cannonball position, thrust forward with the aid of an electric motor and an upright seating position, and fully geared to hit the trails. In Bagg’s case, the trails of Bragg Creek, Alberta.

Read more about the Icon Explore here.