The TrailRider - Tough, Comfortable and Ecologically Sound
The TrailRider is a single wheel all terrain mobility device that enables individuals with disabilities to be able to explore the outdoor spaces and trails that would otherwise not be accessible. The device is designed by the British Columbia Mobility Opportunities Society (BCMOS), an organization headquartered in British Columbia, whose mission is to provide opportunities for people with physical disabilities to access outdoor recreation.
The design of the TrailRider is affectionately described as “a cross between a wheelbarrow and a rickshaw.” Both a wheelbarrow and a rickshaw require one “driver”. The TrailRider is designed similarly. With the disabled individual in the comfortable and ergonomic seat of the TrailRider, two additional people (known as “sherpas”) are needed to assist with movement. One sherpa lifts the front of the device off the floor and pulls, while the second guides the device and pushes from behind. It weighs a total of 23kg (just over 50lbs), so it is lightweight enough to be manageable even on tough, uphill terrain. The foldable design allows for easy transportation in hatchbacks, SUVs and minivans. BCMOS also states that it can accommodate people of all sizes including children, since the footrest, armrests and seat are fully adjustable. It also comes with a disc braking system for added safety on trails. Last but not least, it has a built-in cargo compartment for storage purposes. A video on the TrailRider in action can be seen here.
How To Rent:
TrailRiders have found their way into countries such as Australia through the efforts and support of individuals such as the late David Stratton, who introduced the device to his contacts at Victoria Parks. A touching video on David’s life can be seen here where David talks about his journey using TrailRiders.
TrailRiders are currently available to rent and purchase from different organizations in various countries, including Canada, Australia, the United States, South Korea, and Japan. A full list can be found here.
BCMOS also has a list of accessible hikes in British Columbia where the TrailRider can be used. Some of the trails require two sherpas, while some of the difficult trails require at least 4 sherpas to navigate safely and effectively.
Have you used a TrailRider before? Would you be interested in trying one out? Leave us your thoughts!