In 2010, the prosthetist who made Schanbaum's legs told her about athletes with prostheses who "are active on their legs," and use them to ride bikes. Before recovering from meningitis, Schanbaum's cycling experience was pretty much limited to her daily mile-long commute to and from campus. "I barely owned bike shorts before I got sick," she said.
So she started riding a bike that was adapted so she can brake by leaning into the handlebars. And she realized that she not only liked cycling, but with the support of her family, trainer, and prosthetist, she was actually good at it.
Like really good: Her sixth bike ride as an amputee was for a 12-mile race that was part of the 2010 LiveStrong Challenge. From there, she started training seriously and competing in national and international competitions, riding up to about 60 miles per week for training.