Terina Sprague Heads the Adaptive Cycling Team at This Year’s Tour De Pier

Why she rides.

  • Category
    Health, People
  • Edited by
    Darren Elms
  • Photographed by
    Jeff Berting

Terina Sprague first learned of Tour de Pier’s adaptive cycling team, Team Freeda, through friend Shad Eischen. “He told me about the cause and Tour de Pier’s goal to be an inclusive event,” says Terina, who’s been a paraplegic since the age of 8 following a motorcycle accident. Now 39, she has stayed physically active throughout her life and enjoys participating in community activities. 

“It was not only important to me to be involved in the charitable aspect of Tour de Pier, but I was also proud that they were focused on making their event inclusive to all,” she says. “Why did I become involved? Simply because I physically could, using a handcycle that they provided!”

Team Freeda was started by Allison Compton, an amputee who saw the need for those with physical disabilities to be able to participate in Tour de Pier. In 2022 Allison moved out of the state and asked Terina if she would take over leadership of the adaptive team. She gladly accepted. 

“I was thrilled to grow our We All Ride team from its original five adaptive participants to 11,” she shares about the newly renamed team. “It’s important that alongside our handcyclists we also have regular stationary cycles on our team, so friends and family members can ride with us.”

In 2020 the ride took on new meaning for Terina. Her fiancé’s father, Joe, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and endured a long surgery and chemo treatments. Though the first several months after his diagnosis proved challenging, he came through strong. 

“The last two years he has made the four-hour trip from home to personally attend Tour de Pier and cheer us on,” Terina says. “Joe has become one of our biggest team fundraising donors and supporters. After each cleared test through the last couple of years, we’d breathe a sigh of relief. Unfortunately, this past month his test came back with concern, and he will be undergoing chemo treatments in March. We are hoping and praying for these treatments to go well, and we look forward to him still attending this year’s event.”

Terina is going into her sixth year with Tour de Pier this May, and she continues to foster team growth and exceed fundraising goals. “Our adaptive athletes are not only wheelchair users but those with limb impairments as well,” she notes. “This year we have a blind cyclist planning to sign up with our team. We are proud to broaden our inclusive focus.”

As someone in a wheelchair and with a disability, Terina says training never ends for her. “To maintain a healthy lifestyle and be able to independently training is an everyday goal. I use my stationary handcycle at home three to four times a week, as well as attend a gym that specializes in training those with disabilities three times a week: NextStep Fitness in Lawndale. I train for life every day, so the day of Tour de Pier is just another day on the handcycle—but doing it with 250+ other people for an amazing cause.” 

Skechers’ 12th annual  Tour de Pier will take place May 19 in front of the Manhattan Beach Pier. For more information, visit tourdepier.com.