This Quadriplegic Daredevil Invented His Own Tech to Race at 130mph
After a devastating injury as a teenager, Mario Bonfante Jr. now races using equipment he built in his bedroom, and he’s ready to help others do the same.
Photos by Miko Lim
Narratively is excited to present the online debut of this story, which appears in the September issue of The Red Bulletin, a magazine that tells captivating stories of inspirational people and their achievements within adventure, sports, music, culture, technology and innovation.
Mario Bonfante Jr.’s spirit ascended from the earth as quickly as his body slammed into it. This happened in 2006, when he was just 17, but he still can recall the details of the moment. It was a hot September day in the scratchy town of Gilroy, California, and Mario hovered above himself, observing the scene of his injury from an ethereal remove of 30 feet. He felt no fear or pain. Because he’d launched over the handlebar and landed headfirst, he could only see the back of his wiry body. From above, he watched a fire truck and ambulance arrive, and saw first responders flip him onto a gurney. With mental acuity as certain as the force that had just pulverized his upper spine, Mario saw a li…