Captain Danny Knutson is a Navy Veteran and QL+ Challenger. He served for 25 years in the United States Navy as a Naval Aviator. While serving in the Navy, Captain Knutson’s spine and neck were compromised during an in-flight ejection from a crippled Navy jet.
In 2008, he was struck by a vehicle while riding his bicycle. This hit-and-run collision caused him to sustain a spinal cord injury. His right arm is paralyzed, and he has limited use of his left arm. He also has severe balance issues. He is an incomplete quadriplegic who spent eight months in rehabilitation, learning how to walk again.
Captain Knutson enjoys riding a recumbent trike for fun and for exercise. The trike mitigates his balance issues and gives him the sense of freedom of movement. Riding keeps him in shape and and helps him regain and retain his motor skills.
Captain Knutson is working with QL+ Engineering Students at Colorado School of Mines to create a recumbent trike loading and unloading device. This device will improve his quality of life by giving him the opportunity to ride more often. Currently, Captain Knutson has to rely on friends to help him load and unload his recumbent onto his vehicle’s bike rack. Having to rely on the availability of family and friends can sometimes limit the opportunities to ride.