I HAVE A TRIRIDE! Sorry for shouting, but it’s worth it, because I have a triride!!
Prior to getting it, if I needed or wanted to go somewhere I had to ask for help, fit in with other’s timings, or put people (Sarah in particular) under pressure to help me. This equipment in incredibly exciting, in more ways than just being a fun toy.
For those who don’t know, a triride is a powered attachment for a manual wheelchair, essentially turning my wheelchair into a powerchair/ mobility scooter cross. The important bit is that this little yet brilliant piece of kit allows me the freedom to do what I want. It is simple to attach, and uses a lightweight battery to power an electric motor and thus opens up a world of possibilities for me. From accessing places I previously couldn’t due to not having the strength or stamina, to simply being able to go along the street holding Sarah’s hand; having access to this incredible thing has changed my life in less than a week.
I now can do pretty much what anyone else can do, from going to the shops alone to heading to my homebrew gym, a world of possibilities has opened up. I’ve been waiting this long to write this post as I wanted to get some good time in using it before commenting, as I felt picking it up was simply not enough. It’s certainly a learning curve to get used to it; from understanding how the throttle reacts to using the F1 inspired KERS braking system, it even comes with cruise control. Lazy or what?!
So far I really have tried to make the most of it. I’ve been up to the homebrew gym at my mum’s house, into town both with family and alone (more on that later) and to local green belt place, Stewart Park. The first time we visited SP was my first opportunity to really push the new toy and see what it could do. The verdict? A lot. We went on all terrain there such as concrete, paving, cobbles and even woodland tracks, and it didn’t miss a beat. Unfortunately Amelia did, resulting in her having a sudden rush of gravity… twice. She took it like a trooper though, and jumped straight back on her bike.
Going into town on my own was certainly an experience, and not one I’ll forget in a hurry. The actual experience of doing something ‘adult’ on my own was completely surreal. Granted all I did was go shopping for pizza and ice cream, but the whole idea of being completely independent was something alien to me after so long around others. It was incredible to have the ability to do what I want when I want, without having to put other people out and ask for help. There was a few points at which help would have been good, but being alone gave me the opportunity to start thinking for myself again and thankfully I managed to complete my mission.
Since then, I have had another great experience; going out for a drink with a mate! Following my accident I have been in pubs, but always with plenty of people available to help, and always with assistance getting there. This time though I was able to get there alone, and the only help I needed was getting the door open as the lift was (as per usual) broken. It was nice to sit in a pub (obviously following all the issued guidance) and not have to worry about am I being too much in the way, am I drawing attention, etcetera etcetera…
I’m so excited by the opportunities this piece of equipment will afford me, and I can’t wait to share my future adventures now that I have the freedom to access things again. Cheers!