Importer Shanon Arnold (left) in the Striker hand bike with
tetraplegic Keith Jarvie, who is building his strength to
ride the Otago Central Rail Trail. Photo by Craig Baxter.
A tetraplegic Dunedin man can now ride an electric bike
on the Otago Central Rail Trail, for no charge.
Dunedin resident Keith Jarvie (54) said he had always wanted
to ride the rail trail but had been in a wheelchair since
suffering a rugby injury in 1986.
He had planned to ride the trail in a golf cart but the
Department of Conservation would not allow it. But then he
heard of the electric Striker hand bikes and contacted the
New Zealand Rugby Foundation.
The foundation, a welfare organisation that provides care for
catastrophically injured players, provided funding for two
bikes, to be based in Dunedin and Alexandra.
Mr Jarvie was building his strength before taking on the
trail, he said.
Holden Engineering manager Shanon Arnold said he imported the
bikes from Germany.
The 16-speed ''mountain drive'' system on the bikes could
reach speeds of 20kmh, he said.
The bike would not go up Baldwin St but would handle the rail
trail, Mr Arnold said.
Riders could change gears on the bike with their chins, he
A bike cost between $10,000 and $15,000 depending on
functionality, Mr Arnold said.
The front of the bike disconnected and then the back could be
used like a wheelchair. A rider could ride to a restaurant,
unclip the front of the bike and go inside to eat, he said.
The bikes were available for lease, short- or long-term, and
were free for anyone in a wheelchair, Mr Arnold said.
However, there was a small fee for the technician to set the
bike up for the rider, he said.