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Tread Setters: A Different (and Important) Take on the White Rim

Tread Setters isn’t just another film about athletes overcoming challenges. It’s a testament to the extraordinary spirit within us all. Follow Josie Fouts, Steven Wilke, Roger Withers, and Annijke Wade as they embark on a journey that defies conventions and redefines what it means to push boundaries.

Written by: Bruce Lin

Published on:

Posted in:Features

Josie with her custom MTB. Photos: Matt Didisheim 

A couple of years ago, I wrote a feature on Josie Fouts. At the time, she was hoping to ride the legendary 100-mile White Rim Trail in Canyonlands National Park. This is something plenty of riders have done, but I guarantee you none of them were like Josie. 

As a transradial congenital amputee, Josie was born without her left hand, and she has faced countless challenges during her cycling career. Now, she's on a mission to raise the profile of para-mountain biking and inspire others with her story.

Last year, she was featured in a documentary called Tread Setters which followed a small group of para-cyclists — Josie Fouts, Steven Wilke, Roger Withers, and Annijke Wade — on a journey around the White Rim. 

A few days ago, Tread Setters became available to watch on YouTube: 

In a world where the spotlight often shines on those without disabilities, these para-cyclists and adaptive athletes showcase the power of resilience and determination. Watch them tackle a grueling 100-mile mountain bike trail through Canyonlands National Park in under 24 hours and discover their journey’s steadfast courage while exploring themes of inclusivity in mountain biking and beyond.

Join the trailblazers, the Tread Setters, as they prove that with passion, dedication, and unwavering belief, anything is possible.

Presented by the National Ability Center

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Tread Setters Means Something to Me

Tread Setter White Rim movie

If I can learn to physically roll over anything or around anything, any metaphorical barrier that presents itself off the bike, I know there's a way around it. That’s what made mountain biking a part of my future and my purpose.

- Josie Fouts

I don't talk about this much, but I’m the parent of a 5-year-old boy with a congenital disorder that has impacted his physical and motor development. The last few years have been characterized by an obsession with supporting my son’s health and finding ways for him to access the world around him. There's been a lot of pain and struggle. My wife and I have spent more hours than we can remember visiting doctors, physical therapists, and disability specialists. 

With intense work, my son has been able to walk without support. Recently, he’s been able to cruise short distances on a small balance bike. We still have a long way to go and it will be an uphill battle. I don't know if he'll ever have the balance needed to ride a pedal bike without support, but just being able to follow my son as he scoots his little bike to the neighborhood park has given me boundless hope. 

We NEED cyclists like Josie, Steven, Roger, and Annijke who are willing to share their journeys. We NEED movies like Tread Setters. We NEED people like this to look up to. 

If you have 30 minutes to spare, I highly recommend watching. It's free. It’s inspiring. It’s important. Leave them a comment too. Keep on pedaling forward! 

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