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Sunday, 24 April 2016

That freewheel comes in handy again

Yesterday, we went out for a family walk to a place in Surrey called Box Hill. It's a National Trust place, with lots of hiking opportunities and a cafe. I like National Trust hikes. They have marked trails with posts to follow. When the boys were little, they used to 'spot' the next arrow so that we always knew where to go.

The walk we did yesterday was called 'Hill Top Stroll'. I can only assume a very able bodied person gave it that name. Don't get me wrong, it was lovely but stroll is not a word I would have used. I am so glad I had both my freewheel and handles.

Some of the route was quite steep and I found one section that was people-free and not too bumpy to go whizzing down. Neil tried to capture this but it didn't quite work. In spite of the photo not doing what he wanted it to do, I quite like it. I was obviously going so fast, I turned everything white!

Parts of the walk were not accessible, even with my freewheel, due to steepness, sharp stony ground and tree roots so I was very glad that Josh and Neil helped me to navigate these sections on foot - Josh walking backwards, hanging on to me for dear life - whilst Andy got the wheelchair through.

Afterwards, we found a picnic table and got together for the obligatory family photo...

Two tips for the day

1. In busy places, take the freewheel off. I've seen pictures of people who have a holder on the back of their chair for it. I never got one of those but I'm hoping to sort that out when we visit the Mobility Roadshow. Cafes and other busy places are not easy with the freewheel still attached. Thankfully it's really easy to just unclip and leave with the family.

2. Take handles off when in places with lots of doorways. I was going through a doorway and one of my back wheels got stuck on the little ridge. As I went to give myself a push, somebody from behind decided to 'help' me out and push me. This pushed me sideways into the doorframe, trapping my knuckle of my left hand between the wheel and the frame. I've got a cracking bruise and swollen hand now. One day, I would love to train people in how to genuinely help wheelchair users.

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