Broken skaters can still roll

Posted on January 4, 2012 by


On a weekend in late December Michelle, Erica and I got up at 6am on a Sunday! We set off bright and early on the 90 minute drive south to Victor Harbor. We’d been planning this outing for ages – an impressive 22.5 km skate plus present giving to end the year with. A while back Erica broke her leg and we had to decide whether to abort or not. We decided to go ahead and had a wheelchair stowed in the boot.

In the weeks leading up I had been daydreaming about this skate. In my mind, the three of us would roll leisurely along the coastal bikeway, the sun beaming down on us while we admired the ocean view.


Michelle and Erica

Not everything went to plan. For a start, Erica has never used a wheelchair before. I’m not sure this one was designed for anything other than pottering around the house. In any event, the blasted thing just wouldn’t roll straight and Erica couldn’t get it to go much faster than if she had just gotten out of the thing and crawled. We decided to push it along.

Also, I had equated coastal with flat. Victor Harbor, however, is very hilly! Going up the hills was a painfully slow, laborious process with one person steering the chair while walking on toe stops and Erica using all her upper body strength to keep the wheels moving. Flatter areas involved Erica resting while Michelle pushed the chair and I pushed Michelle. To do this, Michelle and I had to synchronise our steps, otherwise we tripped each other over. Steep descents were the most interesting. All three of us would go down backwards in a cluster. Michelle would steer the chair (and therefore the cluster) with her head facing the chair, which meant she couldn’t see where we were going. I had one hand lightly on the chair and one hand on Michelle’s back. I would look continuously over my shoulder and provide reports on upcoming obstacles or oncoming cars.

Oh, and let’s not forget the rain, which drizzled and dumped on us for about three of the three and a half hours that it took us to cover the 22.5 kms.

It wasn’t the experience I was counting on but the sense of achievement at the end was exquisite.

Posted in: LimboLand