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Riding techniques:

As for any other sport, beeing able to anticipate will be the key to success. Learn it slowly and cautiously. Slow down on the trails when you meet with pedestrians and be friendly under all circumstances. You will create surprise and admiration. Take the opportunity to show the disability on its best aspect...


It is best to start on a dirt road with a moderate slope. As soon as a minimum of self confidence is reached and when the beginner is able to safely use the brakes, one can go for some steeper and more technical trails. A close protection from someone walking near the rider might be appropriate. You might later start going for routes that you will choose from the available information, such as this web site, maps, etc..., but always with a minimum of 2 buddies coming along with you.

Reaching the top of the ride

Usually done by car. Paved or dirt roads  give access to many places. Lifts or cable cars are sometimes running during the summer time (July and August). They provide an excellent access to high altitude, which translates to great vertical drops...
When there is no mechanical means available, the human power can be used. One or two tow ropes. linked to your friend's bikes, under their saddle. Pushing by the 2 side ears of the "Cobra"or "Dahu" is also extremely powerfull.
And in many remote countries, animals can be found and can tow you. Horses, mules, donkeys, yacks, camels, you name it... Using a quick disconnect device is absolutely mandatoring. Some of those animals have a strong independant personality.


Watch your speed. Slow down in time to safely handle the sharp turns. Advanced riders will activate their rear brakes such as to slip the rear while maintaining the front where they want to go. Never forget that switchbacks in steep slopes always translate to high risk of rolling sideways.


Keep your hands on the handlebar, in order to:
- turn your front wheels towards the fall line and control your balance
- fight the natural trend to put one hand on the ground (free shoulder dislocation offered...)

There are actually to theories here:
- be tighten to the chair and be protected by it while falling
- be free to be ejected outside of the chair at the first roll over


Some more radical techniques 

Narrow trails


A side assistance will be extremely usefull. The most efficient way will be to grasp the side ears of the chair, when they do exist



For the real experts


For great racers. The others, like us, will just enjoy watching them in TV while drinking a good beer...


Remote hiking trips

As very little information is usually available, one needs to be prepared to handle almost any unexpected situation. A good mountaineering experience and a great physical fitness will be required. Good notions of map reading as well as orientation might be appropriate.
Having a group of at least 4 persons close to the wheelchair rider will be necessary. when there is a risk of hand carrying. 

Towing by animals (or friends)

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Friends. above 5000m

Mountain bikes

Beeing carried

When the obstacles become far too difficult to be handle with the wheelchair, different carrying techniques could be used. The only limit to the number of potential techniques will be your buddies expertise and how much you trust them !...

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ORWC on a mule in Morocco

Riding a horse in Tibet

Wheelchair in a boat in amazonia

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Narrow moroccan bridge

Ethiopian technique

On the back


Last update : 02/13/2002 08:57

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