ROANOKE, Va. -

If you're a regular on the Roanoke River Greenway, there's a good chance you've already crossed paths with Bill Poe.

He's the guy on the handcycle, using his arms and upper body to power through a workout.

"It was not easy to start," Poe told us, "but since it was one of the few choices, it happened."

Poe has used a handcycle for the last four years, after a bout with bone cancer prevented him from running and ruled out those forms of exercise.

Now, he's preparing for what might be his toughest physical challenge yet, the Foot Levelers Blue Ridge Half Marathon.

"I did do the Roanoke Half Marathon," Poe said in an interview. "And so I thought I would ask if I could do this one. Hopefully somebody will see it and want to try to do the same thing."

Poe says level ground and downhill runs are easy. The hills are a different story, and he has been putting in as much mileage as possible to prepare.

On Saturday, Poe will be testing himself, and race organizers will be following his progress to see how handcycles fit into America's toughest road marathon.

"They may decide this isn't a good idea," Poe told us. "I may decide it's not a good idea, but no, I'm looking forward to it.  It will be something different, a bit of a challenge."

Normally, it takes him about an hour to climb Mill Mountain on his handcycle. How he'll finish on Saturday is hard to predict, but Poe hopes the race he runs will encourage others to follow.

"It would be nice to see some people with disabilities to be able to get out and ride."