Dunedin mother Claire Casey navigates son Finn (9) up the Pineapple Track in the new TrailRider in Dunedin yesterday, with help from Shanon Arnold and his daughter, Isabella (7), from Dunedin. Photo by Peter McIntosh.
A new off-road vehicle that resembled a mix of rickshaw and
wheelbarrow had a trial run in Dunedin yesterday, its first
outing in New Zealand.
Halberg Disability Sport Foundation co-ordinator Bridget
Meyer said the two TrailRiders arrived in Dunedin on Thursday
and opened up a world of possibilities for physically
disabled people in Otago.
The TrailRider would mean people with physical disabilities
could get off the beaten track, and negotiate and tackle
difficult tramps, she said.
The lightweight alloy vehicles were airfreighted from Canada
so that physically disabled people could use them on an
Outward Bound trip to Queen Charlotte Sound next week.
About 20 people turned up to take turns pushing the
contraption, which had a single pneumatic tyre and disc
brakes, she said.
The TrailRider was developed over a decade and had been
proven in the world's toughest environments, including across
swing bridges and up to the Mt Everest base camp, Ms Meyer
"They make the seemingly impossible possible."
On easy terrain, two support people were needed for
navigation. On tougher terrain, four people were needed, she
The TrailRiders were each worth $10,000.
Perpetual Trust provided funding for one, the foundation
fundraised for the other, and both were community assets for
the physically disabled people of Otago, Ms Meyer said.
Dunedin mother Claire Casey said she and her son, Finn (9),
would not be able to enjoy the view from the peak of
Pineapple Track without the TrailRider.
But now, walking holidays, such as undertaking the Kepler
Track, were a possibility, she said.
Although Finn took some coaxing from his wheelchair into the
TrailRider, he had enjoyed the journey and was all smiles
when he made the summit, she said.