Friday, December 20, 2013

Introducing Sam Sullivan

Sam Sullivan in a TrailRider in the snow!
There is a sled device attached to the wheel
Another "introducing" post.

Ros is teaching me that the key to all this online stuff is the connections that get built - hang on, I thought I was the computer nerd?

Sam Sullivan (see Wikipedia) invented the TrailRider and what prompts this post is that he said hello through a comment. Google, mysteriously, led him to a post here - I suspect that he might have been Googling himself ;-) because  it was part of a conversation where I accidentally typed his name instead of someone else at Disability Foundation in Vancouver.

In 1978 Sam had a skiing accident which left him quadriplegic. He worked tirelessly towards better lives for the disabled founding several organisations with a variety of disability focuses, served as Mayor of Vancouver and invented the TrailRider. 

Wikipedia suggests that there are 100 of these in the world - so 10% are in Australia!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Introducing Bushwalking Blog and some thoughts about commenting

Neil Fahey
The Bushwalking Blog - Walking Melbourne and beyond is where Neil Fahey introduces many special hiking spots, primarily in Victoria, but even as far away as Peru. Most posts on the blog are descriptions, delightfully and quirkily written by him, of his time on the trail in question, Understandably though he did not personally write reviews of all 120 walks covered so there are a fair number of Guest Posts.

The latest of these is mine. TrailRiding : hiking for the wheelie introduces the TrailRider to the readership of that blog. Of course they are all uprights but, as the Volunteer Sherpa Program (AKA in my warped mind 1-800-SHERPA) comes to fruition there my well be a lot of conversations between TrailRiding folk and TrailPushing people.

It has been interesting for me to get this involved with a blog other than my own. More or less the first thing I did was look for comments. These are the lifeblood of the blogosphere as they embody the two way conversation between blogger and blogee. Lo and behold! There were, just as here, very few comments. Each comment though was answered by Neil.

So that is my contract to you dear readers. If you comment I will reply. Take the plunge from reading to writing (which, at a certain level, the billion Facebook users have) and tell me, us, what you think. You can choose the Anonymous option for your comment if you are concerned about privacy or else identify yourself according to one of the other options. Go on - I dare you...

As a by the way the latest comment here was from Sam Sullivan who invented the TrailRider. My next post will introduce him to you all.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Great Ocean Walk - more media coverage

Ros and me on top of the
The try-out on the Great Ocean Walk continues to get attention in the media - soon the TrailRider at Apollo Bay will be a reality.

Out in "the bush" where we live there is no ABC digital radio. We have to listen to the cricket! Imagine our surprise when cousin George phoned from Melbourne to say that John Kenwright (Parks Victoria) was being interviewed on nationwide digital radio.

The Warrnambool Standard published a brief article after seeing a Parks Victoria press release and interviewing me on the phone.

I want to thank my intrepid sherpas one more time for taking me, flies aside, to one of the most beautiful places I've been to. Also to Flynn Hart for his 2044 photos.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

International Day for People with Disability 2013

Parks Victorian stand at DSRF
A TrailRider was on the loose in Melbourne city centre!

On December 3rd, in Federation Square the Disability Sport and Recreation Festival (DSRF) was held and Parks Victoria, once again championing Healthy Parks, Healthy People, had a TrailRider on display and being tried out.

Mary Wooldridge and John Kenwright
and the TrailRider

Just as last year in Albert Park the Minister was there this time  MaryWooldridge, Victorian Minister for Community Services.

Little by little more and more people are seeing the TrailRider.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Great Ocean Walk (Roll?)

Wide expanses of ocean - about half
way along the section to Aire River
The 100km long Great Ocean Walk hugs the Victorian south coast between Apollo Bay and the Twelve Apostles. This stunningly beautiful track is a jewel in the crown of Parks Victoria and they are considering basing a TrailRider (9th in Australia) at the Visitor Centre in Apollo Bay so that some of this beauty becomes accessible.

Much of the track is a bit over the top for a TrailRider but the sections from Cape Otway Lighthouse to Castle Cove appeared to Parks to be manageable - but first an evaluation was required.

Is that where they're taking me?
That was where we kicked in. With my birthday in sight, and Parks Victoria helping with accommodation for rider, carer-wife Ros and family and friends sherpas we had a magnificent day evaluating followed by a birthday party. Flynn took 2044 pictures, some of which PV will purchase for their publicity material.

10km and 4 hours later we arrived at Aire River and called the shuttle bus to pick us up. The second longest ride of my life. Thank you to John Kenwright, Joshua Hart and Rodney Brooke.

Bliss! Go Pro video camera atop my helmet
The conclusion? We were accompanied on the track by the contractor whose company "makes" tracks in a number of Parks and we had a critical eye on the condition of the surface (too sandy not good - it was mostly fine), the gradients (too steep not good, again mostly fine) and particularly on "step-elimination" about which I'll say more.

Steps are difficult. For the TrailRider and sherpas they are hard work but for track maintenance they are a nightmare. Materials need to be carried in by hand where there are steps. Adrian is beginning to replace steps with walkways of alternating high and low planks at an equivalent gradient.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Nationwide radio interview

On top of Mount Bishop at Wilsons Prom. One of my favourite
ever TrailRider photos. Beside my darling, Ros and the family
sherpa gang recovering in the background.
Radio National Bush Telegraph did a ten minute feature on the TrailRider on Thursday. Cameron Wilson had a chat with John Kenwright from Parks Victoria and myself in the lead up to the try out session at Apollo Bay this weekend.

John, more than anyone beside me, has made the TrailRider what it is today in Australia and being on the radio with him, and across  the entire country, was a delight. The connection with the ABC was also his doing!

You can listen using this link

The Bush Telegraph story is at this link

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Radio National Bush Telegraph - 11:30 am Thursday 5 December

Castle Cove Lookout - near Aire River, GOW
Tune in to 621 AM in Victoria or on the Internet to hear me interviewed in a feature about TrailRiders in Victoria.

This particular focuses on the up-coming deployment by Parks Victoria of a TrailRider in Apollo Bay for use along the Great Ocean Walk. The GOW tracks 100 km of the coastline that is, more famously, travelled on the Great Ocean Road.

Where the photo was taken
This weekend we will be evaluating the Cape Otway Lighthouse to Johanna Beach sections to see if they are indeed "TrailRidable". 11am at the lighthouse if you're in the area.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Floppy torso

Powell River, BC, Canada. Extra support arrangements
What do you do if you are a rider that does not have enough upper body strength to safely be a passenger? This issue arose recently with some of the Blackwood Special School kids.

The picture shows the solution adopted in Powell River, British Columbia, Canada. Does this fit the bill?

Sunday, December 1, 2013

ABC TV - a permanent link

Just in case this fades from the ABC site here is a permanent link to the Wheel Walk story on ABC Canberra. News24 picked this as one of three Stateline stories from around the nation.

TrailRider in Tidbinbilla.

Monday, November 18, 2013

AFL-TrailRider link in Upstream 50km race

The victorious Arden Street Hikers - 430th out of 740
I have always felt that if the TrailRider were to become in some way connected with footy that its future would be assured. This weekend that happened at the Upstream 50km Challenge race in Melbourne.

The Upstream Foundation, through sponsorship of teams and individuals in the race, raised over $300,000 for the causes listed on their Beneficiaries page.

Starting at Southbank, all the way to Donvale

The Arden Street Hikers team was made up of North Melbourne football club members (as the shirts tell), a community group called the Upstream walkers and some Parks Victoria staff (including Masha who was part of the Oxfam Trailwalker team).  The lucky passenger/pilot was Ben who has Spina Bifida and is paralysed from the waist down.

The notion of TrailRider participation in sponsored events is gathering momentum thanks to the efforts of John Kenwright at Parks Victoria who, with Ben's mum, was the support crew for the team.

Monday, November 11, 2013

The TrailRider DVD

I have put together a DVD with 6 useful, and inspiring, videos - 3 are the instructional movies made by Parks Victoria to help users safely and carefully get out there. The other three are the work of Storyscape (Wild Places and the Oxfam Trailwalker adventure) and the ABC in Canberra.

You can download the 2GB DVD image and burn it yourself (I used this Open Source program)

Alternatively send me an email and we'll see what we can work out.

Yet another option is that Parks Victoria still have some copies of the instructional DVD. Email to John Kenwright.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Return2Sport Expo

An easy start indoors - later
they were kerb-hopping
The Royal Rehabilitation Centre in Sydney have just held their annual Return2Sport Expo featuring many different ways that those with disabilities can get more active - including the TrailRider which they shipped up from Canberra for the show.

The Pilot here is Will, accompanied by his sister and friend. He is a high-level quadriplegic and was thrilled to meet the TrailRider - especially after they gave it a whirl outdoors amongst kerbs and speed-bumps 

The second photo shows the TrailRider beside Will's normal, motorised chair and make the point about transferring between the two. Because the two seats are at more or less the same level it is a normal, sideways transfer.

Next step for Sydney? Clearly a TrailRider or two somewhere. It's a long drive to Tidbinbilla.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

National TV (briefly)

Eye-catching camera work from Mark
Two friends walked into a bar (sounds like the start of a joke I know) and News24 was quietly on the screen. Suddenly they saw me and the TrailRider!

On Saturday mornings News24 has a State by State where they screen stuff from Statelines around the nation and they were in the right place at the right time.

Did anyone else see it?

Thursday, October 24, 2013

What do you do with kids in wheelchairs when it rains?

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it is two TrailRiders beside
the Lerderberg Rivver
TrailRiders are a "natural" for schools where kids with mobility issues are mixed in with the able-bodied. The Frankston Special Developmental School, on camp at Blackwood, borrowed chairs from Bacchus Marsh and Daylesford and went out in the rain.

The result, apart from some very happy kids, was some of the rare photos of two TrailRiders in action.

Many thanks to Deb Shaddock at Daylesford for passing on these photos. Schools and TrailRiders are a long-held dream of mine.
Two sherpas are all you need on a level track

Saturday, October 19, 2013

First time on TV

The ABC were as good as their word - 7:30 pm on Stateline. Thank you Chris and Mark for some lovely work.

This link might only work if you live in Australia. I will be getting an international version up ASAP.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Tidbinbilla - first time on the TV?

The long-awaited TV photographer
in action
Today (Thursday 17th October) Ros and I visited Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve near Canberra to take the first non-Victorian chair out for a spin. For the first time ever there was a TV (ABC) camera and journalist present and (fingers crossed) ACT Stateline will air at 7:30 pm 18/10.

Tidbinbilla is where visitors to any of the parks in the ACT can borrow the TrailRider before they head out into the bush. Check out the Directory for the phone number - don't forget your helmet,

Keith (back) and Andrew strut their
stuff as the ACT's first sherpas
Ros' brother Keith and his friend Andrew were the sherpas - both on their first outing and both eager to be out there again and to be founding ACT's own volunteer sherpa network.

Friday, September 27, 2013

On the Beach

Common wisdom might hold that you can't use the TrailRider on a beach - the sand would be too soft for the single wheel. However, somewhere between high tide and low tide it's firm enough as a team in the Surf Coast Century 100km race found out at Anglesea, Victoria on September 21st.

The chair in Torquay can be borrowed from the Torquay Sport & Recreation Centre on 03 5261 4606

Many thanks to Jim Connor for passing this on.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Kilimanjaro x 2, Everest Base Camp x 2

Pippa Blake on her way to
Everest Base Camp iin 2007
Many thanks to Stephen Hunter at the British Columbia Mobile Opportunity Society (BCMOS) for pointing me the page where some of the great TrailRider adventures are shown.

Jim Milna generating electricity
on Kilimanjaro in 2006
This page (full of fascinating links)  
shows, along with a number of big Canadian adventures, how TrailRiders have been to some of the world's most extraordinary places. Our hats are off, of course, to the teams of sherpas who made these adventures possible.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Kilimanjaro - did a TrailRider really go there?

For many years I've allowed myself to participate in the rumour that someone once ascended Kilimanjaro in a TrailRider. I thought I should check.

Jim Milna was his name and he did go there in 2002 and he did found Climbing Over Restriction and Disability Society but the one--wheeled chair they used does not look like a TrailRider. Could be an early version though - anyone choose to comment.

Everest Base Camp is another story.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Stawell Run for Russ

 Paul Russell (local council member and police officer),
 Di O’Donnell (Grampians Community Health),
Daniel Sos (Grampians Community Health),
 Libby McMillan (Teacher Skene Stree Specialist School),
 Ryan Duffy (Parks Victoria),
Jordan Schampster (Skene St Student)
Kriss Ellis (Rural Access Worker)
Stawell (pronounced "staul") is the nearest town to the Grampians - birthplace, if you like, of the Australian TrailRider. Stawell was the scene of the Heart Challenge Run for Russ event last weekend. Once again a sponsored run with a TrailRider entry along with all the other "uprights"

The move toward a Volunteer Sherpa program is being very actively pursued at and around the Grampians by Kriss Ellis, the Stawell Rural Access worker who saw the run as an opportunity for people to see the TrailRider in action.

There is a core now of about a dozen potential sherpas in the area so when you call to book the chair ask them if there are any sherpas available.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Congratulations to Bruce!

Bruce shows off the award
Pictured here with team
member Megan Watson
Bruce Towers, who you can meet at link,was the first person in the world to complete the 100km Oxfam Trailwalker Challenge as a passenger (AKA pilot) rather than a walker.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Oxfam Australia presented him, and by implication the whole of the two Parks Victoria teams, with the Oxfam State Street Overcoming the Odds Award at the Oxfam Trailwalker Melbourne Awards Night.

Suitably crazy Bruce ended up in a wheelchair after a helicopter crash in New Guinea. He is now involved in wheelchair parachuting (!) amongst other things.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Oxfam Trailwalker video - this time for real!

Here it is - the story behind the first ever participant who didn't actually walk! 

There have been over two million participants around the world in the Oxfam 100km Trailwalker challenge since 1981. Bruce Towers was the first who didn't use his own legs.

..or try the shorter version

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Setting up a TrailRider

TrailRiders in Australia today fall into two categories - Shire chairs and Park chairs. 

Daylesford Visitor Information Centre - home of one of the
 eight Australian TrailRiders
For the Park chairs the procedures and staffing of the State parks body (to date Parks Victoria and ACT Parks) do the work but for Shires the local disability, tourism and information centre resources click into place and these people need advice and information from others that have done it.

For a long time now I have thought that a setting up a chair page was needed and today I have started on that. This is very much work-in-progress and I urge anyone who has input to leave comments that I can incorporate into the page.

Monday, July 1, 2013

First one outside Victoria!

Proof that it really is there!
Tidbinbilla in the ACT is a wonderful wild spot and also the site of the Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex one of the three NASA tracking sites in the world.

ACT Parks are operating the first TrailRider in Australia that is not in Victoria. The details if you want to use it are in the Directory This is the eighth chair in Australia.

I wonder if I could get a ride?
Providentially a family wedding will bring Ros and me to Canberra in October and we have our eyes on the groomsmen and bridesmaids as potential sherpas.

Saturday, May 4, 2013


Wish we'd thought to snap the
As the number of TrailRider grows (7 now in Australia) so will the number of flat tyres. We had one in Smythesdale this week and I know of at least one more during Trailwalker training.

What is the best way to manage this - both from the point of view of the chairs and the users who could be stuck in the middle of nowhere?

The Trailwalker team carried one of those spray cans but after using that the tyre would never be the same again.

 If the tyre were filled with silicon it would not ever puncture but how would the ride be? The springiness of the pneumatic tyre is the only suspension for the rider apart from the soft seat. On level ground that might not matter but how about going down steps? So many questions.

What about a trial? A new pneumatic tyre could be fitted if it was no good.

A spare wheel? Believe it or not they cost $1000.

What do they do in Canada? We shouldn't reinvent (!!) the wheel.

Could some kind of suspension be worked into the design? It's such a good design perhaps it should not be changed.

Comments please...

Thursday, May 2, 2013

TrailRider Trailblazer - hiking in Smythesdale

Smythesdale is a small town to the west of the Victorian regional city of Ballarat. The Trailblazers (nice name) are a group of folk, of various ages, who once a week go hiking. Today Ros, even though she's in the midst of respite, drove us down to blaze a trail with a group of wonderful people who had no idea that such a thing as the TrailRider existed.

Beside the dam on a beautiful day. Craig Thompson in white
shirt and shades set it all up.
The gig was organised by Craig Donaldson, the Rural Access Worker in Ballarat who is strategising towards a chair at the Information Centre in his city. Once again I'm reminded (put it on my todo list) that the blog needs a page that is a resource for the likes of the Ballarat Visitor Centre who need to talk to those that have done it before.

Different Blazers tried out being sherpas. Craig handled the more critical back of the TrailRider. People who love the bush are "natural" potential volunteer sherpas and the volunteer program, when it starts up, will involve grass roots connection with many groups such as the Trailblazers or the mountain bikers at Lysterfield.

Flats - battery in Craig's car and the
tyre on the TrailRider
As it happened they saw the TrailRider at its worst - we had a flat tyre! More work for the Daylesford Visitor Centre who leant Craig the chair and lots of discussion about whether filling with silicon would make the ride too uncomfortable. To add insult to injury his car wouldn't start.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Completing Trailwalker - the first ever non-walking participant

The crew at the finishing line - from left to right Ben Hart,
David Ponsford, Masha, Scott Lever,team pilot Bruce Towers
Gary Porter, Megan Watson and David Southwick
In 2012 22,000 people around the world walked 2.2 million kilometers - sponsored to raise money for Oxfam. The Trailwalker event was first conducted in 1986. That is a lot of people.

This weekend in Melbourne, for the first time in that entire history, someone completed the challenge without actually walking. That someone was Bruce Towers and he was the rider in a TrailRider that was guided by 7 sherpas. A Trailwalker team must have four members and the two Parks Victoria teams, one rider and seven sherpas made up the eight.

The teams trained hard for the three months leading up to the event but that could not really approximate to the actual effort of covering 100 km. For the sherpas it was sore legs and blisters and for Bruce it was above all the cold, still on the track at midnight at the top of a mountain. Bruce, who at first was the "passenger" and came to be known as the "pilot", became a paraplegic after a helicopter crash and joined the venture highly qualified as someone who was brave, crazy and adventurous enough to take it on.

Parks Victoria finished 405th out of 756 teams taking 32 hrs 18 minutes to complete the course. Their involvement is a credit to son and foundation sherpa Ben Hart who had the original idea, John Kenwright at Parks Victorian who organised it all  and to MLA David Southwick who lead the teams. This of course is not to mention the five other sherpas from Parks Victoria and the star of the whole occasion. Bruce.

Photo and video by Ros Hart

Friday, April 19, 2013

Night is falling... the Dandenongs as the Parks Victoria team edges towards the halfway stage in their 100km challenge. They will continue into the darkness before they take a rest at John Kenwright's house and then be back on the track early tomorrow morning.

The current ETA at the finishing line in Wesburn Park is 3pm on Saturday 20th. It's cold outside!

The map shows their progress at 4:40pm

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Trailwalker publicity

The publicity machine at Oxfam is doing well 

- check out the State Minister's media release
- the Age article
- the ABC Melbourne interview with Ben Hart
- the Trailwalker website

Any others?

Monday, April 15, 2013

Oxfam Trailwalker Challenge

In the woods. There are parts of the track that are a lot more
arduous than this!
This is the post I've been longing to make but the Oxfam media embargo has made me wait until today. 

For 100km and 48 hours Bruce Towers will be lugged, by a team of seven sherpas, in the first ever (worldwide!) Oxfam Trailwalker entry with a passenger.

Visit the Oxfam Tralwalker site to sponsor the team and see whether you can make it to the start or the end of the track. 

There are quite a number of reasons that I find all this particularly exciting.

  • I have not done anything! This was Ben's (son) idea and has been spearheaded, once again, by Parks Victoria. Ben is a sherpa along with a number of park rangers and a state politician, David Southwick.
  • The match between TrailRider and TrailWalker is a big thing for Oxfam which leads to them doing a lot of media work. The Age article is a good example.
  • Once again we have the great pleasure of working with Storyscape (who made Wild Places) and the 3 minute video is the beginning of a complete production.
Some of the sherpa team. Bruce Towers is the passenger who progresively  acquired the title of "pilot".

Friday, April 12, 2013

International recognition

Excerpt from the BCMOS website showing the Australlian
chairs and where to get them
This is the moment (one of them!) that I have been waiting for. The TrailRider is designed and built in Vancouver, Canada where, incidentally, we used to live. The organisation that looks after all that is the British Columbia Mobile Opportunity Society and their website now lists all the chairs down here (select TrailRider/Around the World).

This is great news for North American disabled tourists planning a trip down-under.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Trentham - two new TrailRiders

For the first time in my life this morning I saw two TrailRiders in the same place at the same time. The occasion was the joint launch of the Daylesford and Bacchus Marsh chairs. Trentham is kind of in the middle so the Quarry Street Reserve is where Hepburn and Moorabool Shires chose to stage this event. 35 people enjoyed speeches, food and drink under cover because it was raining. Check out the Directory to get hold of one of these chairs - yours, for free, for up to seven days!
As observed two weeks ago (!!) Shires are likely to be where it's at with TrailRiders in the future as such chairs end up being closer to more people - both riders and sherpas. The seeming rush of new chairs is very warming but has a little bit to do with the imminent wind up of the state government Transport Connections program. If there's money left in the budget why not contribute towards a TrailRider?

One exciting thing is that a model is being developed of how to set up a Shire chair, Problems are solved that, to some extent, may not need to be solved again. Maybe a "How to setup a TrailRider" page on this blog?

Once again Parks Victoria (or more accurately John Kenwright) has been the one to bring it all together.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Launching the Torquay TrailRider

Bells Beach surf in the background. State MP Andrew Katos
in the suit and Lucille Marks in the chair
 (Photo: Kerry Petty) 
On Wednesday 27th April, the Bells Beach surfing tournament was deserted because of the weather. Amidst the temporary structures built  for the surfing audience the Torquay TrailRider was launched. 

This is the fifth in Australia and the first that will be available in the midst of a place where people live. Along the coast from Torquay is the Surf Coast Walk and the beautiful Otways National Park.

In the words of the guest of honour, MP Andrew Katos, so many opportunities to "connect with nature"

Pick it up from the Torquay Sport and Recreation Centre. (Directory

Friday, March 22, 2013

Volunteer Sherpas (desperately) needed

I have been spoiled where Sherpas are concerned. My young, fit, healthy and above all generous family have taken me to some extraordinary places. So this week in the Grampians, with total access to their TrailRider but only two "uprights" has been a novel experience. We have really, really needed to be able to tap into some kind of volunteer network.

All dressed up and nowhere to go. Bellfield Reservoir
with Sam,and Rachel taking the picture! For interesting
TrailRiding you need more than two Sherpas

In this region it turns out that Gilda McKechnie, the local Rural Access Worker has been putting up posters to solicit helpers but we didn't know in advance and there have only been three offers solicited anyway. We considered sneakily hijacking the crew who take Kelly out one a week (to her great delight!) and in the end have a generous offer from Blake at the Brambuk Cafe but it is all happenstance.

What is needed, statewide, is a network of fit outdoorsy types who love the idea of sometimes being a Sherpa, do it from time to time, learn the ropes, and who, above all can  be contacted in advance by someone who is contemplating an outing.

This sounds like it needs a co-ordinator. Someone who would register volunteers, hook them up with some training and be a clearing house for Sherpa requests and availabilities. Is a day a week too little? Answering the phone or the email would be an always-open kind of thing. 

Thoughts from readers on this topic would be incredibly valued

Shire Council Chairs (x2)

Having TrailRiders available near to where people live is critical to reaching the largest possible audience of frail and disabled users. 

Chairs that are "in the community" as opposed to a possibly remote Park are more accessible to Riders and importantly to Sherpas. Gathering together a team to go down the street for an outing is less of a big ask than to go off to somewhere distant.

Two Shire Councils in Victoria, Moorabool (Bacchus Marsh) and Hepburn (Daylesford) are launching TrailRiders that will be available in those two towns. In Daylesford the chair will be kept at the Visitor Information Centre and in Bacchus Marsh at the Lerderberg Library and can be borrowed there, free of charge for up to seven days.

These two chairs will be launched at the beautiful Quarry Street Reserve in Trentham at 10:30am on Thursday 11th April.

There will be morning tea and a chance to try out the chair - don't forget to bring a bike helmet.

Checkout the Directory to see how to access either of these chairs.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Status update

The TrailRider is becoming established in Australia. Perhaps it is time to take stock:

Boronia Peak in the Grampians. The clearest picture yet of
what it's all about (Many thanks to Ros Hart)
  • 5 TrailRiders available right now- see the Directory
  • 2 TrailRiders purchased and about to be launched - Moorabel and Hepburn Shires
  • 6 TrailRiders in the near distance. Contacts made, motivation assured and money needed
    • Hobart
    • Canberra
    • Sydney
    • Ballarat
    • Mt Alexander Shire
    • Wyndam Shire
  • That makes 13 - a bit of an unlucky number. Where is the next?
  • Trailwalker Oxfam walk team in training. April 19th-21st
  • Volunteer sherpas? Bushwalking Victoria working on it
  • Where2Walk - Bushwalking Victoria giving tracks TrailRider ratings
  • Australian manufacture - a willing engineering firm and a firm market

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Wheelchair Surfing

Mick Fanning shows how it's done in 2012
Not really but we got your attention!

Surf Coast Shire, based in Torquay Victoria, is launching their TrailRider at  3:30pm, Wednesday March 27, 2013 at Bells Beach. The launch will coincide with the world famous surfing tournament. Their will be brief speeches from a few dignitaries.

This is an important step for the TrailRider because it is the first that is not in a Park. Parks Victoria have generously paid for half the purchase but these "Shire" chairs will be housed at the Visitor Centres (the yellow "i")

The chair is available right now - before the Official Launch. All you need to know about getting hold of this, or any other TrailRider, can be found in the Directory