Toby MacNutt, USA

Toby MacNutt, USA

It's a gorgeous and beautifully rugged piece of gear and it's just amazing to use. So smooth, so easy, so responsive!!

My Mountain Trike is here. Oh sweet amazingness it is HERE. Huge thanks to my Grandma for funding this addition to my life and of course to Rick Rodgers for pointing me in this direction in the first place. It's a gorgeous and beautifully rugged piece of gear and it's just amazing to use. So smooth, so easy, so responsive!! We took it out for waterfront adventures and went about two miles and I squee'd the whole way.

I hadn't realised just how hard I was fighting to deal with bumpy, uneven, sloping sidewalks around my house, not to mention brickwork and crappy curb cuts. Such a huge expenditure of energy, being wasted as I slowly ruined my hands trying to muscle through.

Suddenly it's like all that is gone. Independent suspension - suspension at all! folks who don't use them may not realise that most manual wheelchairs have exactly zero suspension; all you have is your tires, and even if they're pneumatic, your casters are still solid and rattle you right up the rigid frame - on each wheel smooths out the ride to a staggering extent and the big tires make the uneven surfaces a breeze. It's so. much. easier. It saves me so. much. energy. I tackled one of Burlington's bigger hills today, first outing - one I'd usually go out of my way to avoid - and my deltoids and biceps burn but they're IT and it's just a healthy exercise burn. I can still feel my hands, I can still sit up straight, I can still breathe.

The brakes are a light touch. I don't need any grip strength to speak of to propel, and barely any to brake! (I will need to make thumb sleeves for myself, as the grip material on the handle is too abrasive for my EDS skin, but that's a piece of cake.) The steering is responsive and delicate, and the turning circle tight - I dealt with the densely scattered tables at the cafe we went to for lunch without an issue. And I can't even tell you (if you haven't experienced the world of life on wheels) how amazing it is to have steering, braking, and propulsion be separately controlled.

I can go where I want again. If someone on the sidewalk is slow or oblivious, I can pop off and go around. I won't dislocate vertebrae where the sidewalks are rucked up. I can go on the grass. I can go on gravel. I can *choose my own pathway*. In the wintertime, I won't be trapped if the sidewalks aren't properly cleared, and I won't risk frostbitten fingers from hands in contact with metal rims that are moving through slush and ice. About every two minutes going along - for the whole two miles - I let out some version of "oh my gosh this is AMAZING!!"

And because my life is what it is, when we got to the bakery there was a whole group of folks with MS out to lunch together, so I got to show off a little and spread the trike love. It turns even nondisabled heads, though, hah! *preens* (My fave comment so far comes from twitter: "That is a seriously awesome chair It looks like a Landrover screwed an E-Type Jaguar, and this is the larval form of their pups.")

I am just. This is amazing, I can't even. You guys. I can go places. All the places. Anytime. I'm not stuck