Wednesday, October 25, 2017

A dream come true

Mr Freedman (Bega HS), Jake and Learning Support
Officer Catherine. Click pic to read story
In 2011 the TrailRider was launched in the Grampians. Ros and I have carried, since then, the mental picture of the parents with the disabled child who just happened upon the launch and took Mitchell for a spin.

The joy in their faces convinced us that the ideal passenger was a child and more or less immediately saw that the ideal sherpas were the classmates of that child. The team feeling, the shared venture, the young pilot back in the wilderness. There was even an academic journal paper written about this!

There have been forays into this school/TrailRider space but none as convincing as this one, that I hinted at in my post yesterday - the Bournda Environmental Education Centre, in the Bournda National Park in NSW has bought their own TrailRider and here is their story.

Please join me in Liking the Bournda Environmental Education Centre on Facebook!

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Mount Field Tasmania - an Ability Adventure

Luke surrounded by the Park greemery
And, along the way, another of the missing TrailRiders. More on that later in, what will be, one of my l o n g e r posts.

But first to Mount Field,100 km away from Hobart in Tasmania, it is one of the jewels in the crown of Tasmania Parks and Wildlife. For a long time Andrew Smith, my contact there, has been trying to make it happen and finally he has found the funds to put a TrailRider there.

Along with Kunayi, disabled folk in the State's capital are now well catered for.

The first real try out was last weekend's Access Adventure (great name!) in which Luke Ogden had a great time. Over to him - G’day David I have used the Trailrider that is at Mount Field National Park. I had so much fun. I have Ataxia-Telangiectasia 
("ay-TACK-see-uh Teh-LAN-jick-TAY-sha")
is a rare inherited disorder that affects the nervous system, immune system, and other body systems
Ataxia-telangiectasia occurs in 1 in 400,000 people worldwide

Now the question of "missing" TrailRiders. I spent a day on this last week so please humour me as I go on a bit. Basically I have been trying to reconcile Stephen Hunter (in Vancouver, where they are made) reporting the number he has sent to Australia with the one's I list in the Directory or know about through other channels.

I have been talking to the two Australian distributors, GMS Rehab and Mobility Plus and then following up on who their customers have been and learning extraordinary things as I build up this spreadsheet.

Of the ten that I declared "missing" in my earlier post:
  • One never existed. Stephen reported selling 31 to the Australian distributors but they only bought 30!
  • Two are on a "secret PV project" which, when I can announce it, will be one of the most exciting things I have ever spoken of here
  • One is in Mt Field as this post shows
  • One is on Kunayi at Hobart
  • One in in stock at GMS
  • One is on its way to the Flinders
  • One is in my shed
  • One is in Bournda National Park in NSW. That will be part of another very exciting announcement that I cannot, quite yet, speak of in public
  • One (the last) is kept on hand by Parks Victoria for Community  Events
Like Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service on Facebook below:

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Access friendly NSW

The Dorigo chair in action
Parks NSW are doing it with spades. Here is their TrailRider page.

Hats off to their web designers because this page was really, really easy to find and also hats off to Christina Bullivant for making this all happen.

Like the NSW Facebook Page below

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Found one "missing" TrailRider!

Kunayi (AKA Mt Wellington) - soon to have its own TrailRider
I have just come to the end of a phone conversation with Robert Armstrong at Hobart City Council.

The motorised TrailRider chair that they have bought will soon be available at Kunayi (AKA Mt Wellington)

As soon as the details are decided I will post and make a new entry in the Directory.

Sunday, October 8, 2017


"Like being rocked in the womb" Ros' first experience of
TrailRiding i the Grampians training  volunteer sherpas
This post is all about me - not.

Three times in the past year my wife, Ros, has saved my life. Twice I had seizures at home and she did CPR. That led to the decision that it was no longer safe for me to live at home. That agonising re-arrangement of our lives led to me spending almost two months in a shared Rehab ward waiting for a single room to become available in Ellery House, the high needs nursing home.

The Monday before last she saved my life for the third time. The shared ward faced North and caught the sun, the day was warm and the heating still thought it was winter. Overheated (37 degrees) I was weak as a kitten and begged Ros to rescue me. 

She spoke to all the right people, emphasising the seriousness of my plight, and the next day, magically, I was offered a room. Now I can talk to my phone, use it on Speaker and watch TV without headphones. It is great.

On Tuesday I am being set up with my own NBN (National Broadband Network) connection and I will have 50 cent Gigabytes again - $4 at the moment.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Where are all the TrailRiders?

An original working drawing of the Black Diamond design 
The Directory lists those I know of - there are 19. Last night I had a long talk with Stephen Hunter at the Sam Sullivan Disability Foundation who sell this beautiful piece of engineering and his email this morning confirms that they have sold 31 to the Australian distributors - 29 to GMS Rehab and two to Mobility Plus who are still in the throes of upgrading their website.

Two of the missing chairs I know about - one is in my shed and the other, which I just found out about is in Mt Field national park in (near!) Hobart.

But that leaves ten

My next phone call is to GMS. I just spoke to Mobility Plus and they sold the Hobart chair and one to another Parks organisation in a State that they will confirm by email.