Saturday, June 30, 2007

Scooter Dry Run

{visual description: A couple on ATV's is pictured going up a trail in a mountainous area.]

I've been writing about my equipment change to power equipment due to shoulder issues. (If you want to see other posts, just click on equipment changes below).

So today was my first journey outside with my scooter. Transferring onto it was a bit difficult, but luckily I have a swivel seat and flip up armrests. (Eat your heart out.)

I started down the ramp, which is in an L shape and I was a bit concerned about the turning radius on the platform, but the scooter I bought has a 27 inch turning radius so with a little backing up and a few tries on the way down, I was able to navigate it. On the way back up I made it in one try so I suspect practice is in order. Luckily the builder left extra room on the platform which measures about 39 x 43 inches with a ramp opening of 34 inches.

Let me just say here that I had a beautiful weather day! My friend Mary Kay came along as my pit crew just to pull me out of any ditches or tight spots. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the scooter was great even on uneven sidewalks. It wasn't tippy and it took the bumps really well. Although at 4mph it's not exactly faassst, it's not slow either.

It's definitely a "kid magnet". Toddlers and small kids got this glazed look in their eyes and started toward me - red scooter oh boy! I felt like the Pied Piper for a few minutes as we went through a local park. There was screaming behind me as mothers pulled away the little tykes. Ahh, nature.

I was thrilled to see that I could go up and down hills easily , go over reasonably sized bumps, on grass and even on a dirt-stone path for a bit until there was pavement again. I didn't even find the ride rough compared to a wheelchair. I was glad I had the adaptation for the tiller however which made it possible for me to run the scooter easily with the hand/arm function I have that's stronger. I want to thank my engineer friend who rigged that up for me the other night who said he didn't want any credit. You know who you are. :)

I do wish I owned a camera of some kind because it would have been nice to put up some pictures and I did have Mary Kay along who could have worked a camera. So I hope you don't mind that I picked the photo of the ATV riders above. I have to tell you, after not being mobile, going through park trails on a beautiful day felt as if I was on one of those.

I want to thank Shari at Easy Mobility for helping me choose a scooter that really met my needs and gave me an unbelievably good price/service, everyone on my health team, Mary Kay for helping put it together and being my pit crew, Meredith for helping put it together (I could hear you saying "I can't watch this!") , my adaptive engineer anonymous person and, last but not least, my friend Michael who built my ramp a few years ago.

Mary Kay was busily trying to figure out a way to get the scooter into my car or someone else's car, but that's for another day.

For today, this quad is mobile. And very very grateful.


bob said...

Glad it worked out for you. My friend Jerry uses one and he has paralysis in 3 limbs. He's got his rigged up too and gets around great. Good luck with it.

electroDude said...

Offroading already? I bet you're out again today. I was out in the park with my friends doing the referee stuff while they played b ball. So I'm sitting in the grass and when I go to leave my chair is stuck in this patch of mud. Ugh. We need more offroading features on these things.

Wheelchair Dancer said...

whew! Wow. Way to go, girl!


Meredith said...

"Ah nature..." You crack me up!