These are not just for stomping around in mud or having fun on the beach. When you look at the sort of terrain that has to be covered when you get in a powered wheelchair you soon realise how "off-road" just getting around your own locality is. Last weekend getting the 500 meters from 1 pub to the next involved slopes which were on paper beyond the capabilities of my current chair, (my wonderful EP1C indoor chair), but also the flags and original worn stones along the canal towpath, the very narrow foot path across a bridge, and then slopes and bark areas of a children's play area. When I got to the pub, there were steps to get to the toilet, not mobility friendly at all, (thank you so much for helping me last Sunday Stuart Wooler).
The other weekend, and the reason this wonderful group and emotional venture was created, again, getting from 1 pub to the other was an expedition, crossing broken roads after finding dropped kerbs, broken footpath surfaces, negotiating cars parked across dropped kerbs, around the houses to get through the underpass, across heavy gravel paths only to find that the pub has steps, and the back entrance was locked so forcing friends to carry Erik the EP1C into the pub and through to more steps to the gig.
Walking on the canal path I have to negotiate roots breaking through the path, something you wouldn't normally think about, BUT is suddenly an obstacle that causes the front castor wheels to head widely in one direction or the other.
I'm eternally grateful, but it doesn't half make you thankful, humble, lucky and emotional to have friends that are so wonderfully kind. Having a chair that can get places that Erik cannot, or can negotiate a damn cite more easily would be a dream come true.