TrailRider Official Launch

Published on 14 November 2016

A world leading all-terrain wheelchair that allows people with limited mobility to explore otherwise inaccessible bush trails is coming to Loddon Shire.

The arrival of the TrailRider will be marked by a launch by the Mayor, Cr Neil Beattie at the Loddon Visitor Information Centre in Wedderburn on 18 November.

The device is a cross between a wheelbarrow and sedan chair that allows several helpers, known as “sherpas”, to guide the passenger – adult or child – along outdoor tracks and trails.

It weighs 25kg, but can be easily dismantled to allow two people to slide it into the back of a large car.

The TrailRider was invented in the early 1990s by a Canadian named Sam Sullivan so he could keep enjoying his outdoor lifestyle after he became a quadriplegic in a skiing accident.

Brought to Australia by Parks Victoria at the prompting of David Stratton, who has MS, there are officially now 14 in Victoria and six more scattered around the rest of the country.

To buy one in Australia will set you back $8000, but it is available free of charge for use in the Shire for up to three days at a time.

Disability Inclusion Officer for Loddon Shire and City of Greater Bendigo Cara Smith said Council had originally received an email from David Stratton three years ago promoting the idea.

“I’ve been working on the project for the past six months,” Ms Smith said.

“We do have a number of specific trails around the Shire we will be recommending for users, but the Visitor Centre will advise of those as well as offering the necessary instruction.”

To book the TrailRider, phone the Loddon Visitor Information Centre on 5494 3489.