by Lucas Onan
In November 2019, when André called me to ask if I was interested in being a part of Lowest Highest, I didn't need to think about it. It had been something I was interested in since he had first mentioned it about it a year before, back when he had another partner for it. That was back when I met André. We connected and he told me about his project. We were both taking part in the Million Dollar Challenge, a bike ride from San Francisco to San Diego to help raise money and awareness for Challenged Athletes Foundation. I had seen Andre ride past me one day on the ride and thought, “man, that dude is crushing it on that hand cycle!” We later met up on that ride and chatted a bit, raced each other along with some others, and began realizing we shared a passion for adventure. When we finished the ride, we chatted more about this idea to go from the lowest point in elevation to the highest point on every continent, completely human powered. I was pretty enthralled by the idea and we talked about the potential of me joining in on “a trip or two”.
When I got the call from André saying he was forming a new team, I was stoked. It was as if I had been waiting on it. What an awesome way to put both my love for endurance and adventure to the test! And with a team of fellow adaptive athletes at that -as I soon found out that Andre had also asked Mohamed Lahna to join the team.
I had met Mohamed briefly at a national track cycling competition in Colorado Springs that I
had just thrown myself in, having never ridden either on a track or on a fixed gear bike (a story for another time). I remember seeing Mo out there crushing it on one leg and thinking, “damn, that dude gets after it”. We spoke briefly as I wondered if track cycling was for me (it wasn’t). I then saw Mo again at the Million Dollar Challenge ride and thought it was cool that I was beginning to see familiar faces in the adaptive crowd, something I didn’t get while growing up.
So, while I didn’t know exactly what I was saying yes to, and in a lot of ways still don’t, one thing is for sure: I have an insatiable thirst for community (mainly of the adaptive kind), adventure into the unknown, and pushing myself beyond my perceived physical limits.
This journey might just bring me a little closer to quenching that thirst.
In 2020 we bike 1,800 miles across South America and summited Aconcagua. This summer, we're headed to Europe!
Lucas has dedicated himself to a life in the mountains, on foot, on skis, and now even on a paraglider.
Currently making his home in Jackson, WY he works as a ski instructor and serves others with disabilities through work he does at Teton Adaptive, committed to improving the quality of life for those living in and visiting the Tetons.