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.