Friday, May 18, 2018

Why we like sherpas

First thank you to the Anonymous person who left a comment and drew my attention to the chair in this video.

For sure the pilot is more independent in one of . these but, and it's quite a big but, you will notice when you watch the video that some care has been taken with what kind of terrain they go racing over. The one wheel on the TrailRider simply cannot get stuck amongst the rocks in the kind of situation where one wheel fights with the other. Sherpas rock!




Sunday, April 29, 2018

An Inclusive web site

Ever since I started this blog (2012) it has annoyed me to see how hard it is to visit an arbitrary website and quickly find the disabled stuff. Now, my job at the Inclusive Towns Project, extends that to the more general question of Inclusive Communication in general.

The picture in this post is the internationally accepted symbol for Inclusive Communication. It will now appear, accompanied by the direction Press here on every blog I manage. Try it! Soon it will do other things like reading the post aloud or choosing the text size.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Mount Beckworth

The end of the road
Mount Beckworth is one of the three sentinel peaks that look out across a triangular region of Central West Victoria (the others are Mounts Franklin and Tarrengower) It is a place that I have not visited for years but I was given an extraordinary surprise with yesterday.

My wife Ros, sherpa monarchs Joanne and Rodney and sister Jude took me on a Magical Mystery Tour that involved the second deployment of my very own TrailRider. The ascent, sensibly terminated when we were faced by the rubble shown, involved enormous generosity of sprit and effort from a sherpa team of 256 years combined age.



And this is where we were
Click to see the route map
Some younger blood would have summited but, to even younger blood, we owe the nickname of this peak that is noted for the single, enormous tree on top that can be singled out from far away. The little boys used to call it nipple hill. Check out the distant pics in Google maps. 

The area is a Parks Victoria Scenic Reserve and despite, perhaps unclear signs, about driving we came upon a family in their four wheel drive. Damaging the precious land. Get a life, become a Sherpa.

The irony is that you, and your kids, will live longer.

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Grampians Walking Track Support Group

Hard at work - click pic to read more
Imagine my surprise at discovering these guys! In 2009, hot with Ros' photos from Canada, I reached out to the Head Ranger at the Grampians - the, appropriately named, Graham Parkes. (I used to think eponymous was the word to use here - when someone simply has the right name for their job - but reading around it things are not that clear)

By the time we went to visit Graham had moved on and we met David Roberts, as 
Wild Places tells, but he must have kept me in his email address book because yesterday I got an email from him telling me tales of the Grampians Walking Track Support Group  which I never knew existed.

The important message is that, at 10.00 am, Saturday 21st April, 2018 they will begin work/thinking about Golton Gorge.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

BCMOS (British Columbia Mobile Opportunity Society) turns 30!

Can you believe it? 30 years (thirty) since BCMOS was established by Sam Sullivan, ex ski accident mayor of Vancouver.

This video shows the TrailRider being used to guide disabled person to the top of Grey Rock (AKA Quarry Rock) in Deep Cove, North Vancouver.  

When Ros and I lived in Vancouver this was one of our favourite outings. So much so that it one of the places I scattered some of my Dad's ashes.

Wish BCMOS a Happy Birthday on Facebook


Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Would that we had been there!

All these people I could have given TrailRider Tales business cards to! A
Networkers delight
Getting around is getting harder and going to Melbourne for morning tea seemed a bridge too far (although not for the two wheelies in the picture)

Anyway the occasion was a thank you, from Parks Victoria, to to all the different folk (just look at them!) who contributed to Healthy Parks, Healthy People winning the recent tourism award

In the words supplied to me John Kenwright, Access & Inclusion Coordinator, who has been the leader in this charge:

Parks Victoria and their Disability Sector partners got together today to celebrate the Victorian and Australian Tourism Awards that Parks Victoria won for their accessibility program in the Specialised Tourism Services category.
Parks Victoria Board member and Chair Victorian Visitor Economy Ministerial Advisory Committee,  The Hon John Pandazopoulos hosted the morning tea which saw PV staff and representatives from Blind Sports and Recreation Victoria, Amaze, All Abilities Consultative Committee Mornington Peninsula, genU Karingal St. Laurance, Scope, Austin Health, Travability and Lonely Planet come together to acknowledge the great work that has been undertaken in the last seven years as well as the two recent awards that recognise Parks Victoria as a national leader in providing nature based park experiences for all ages and abilities.  

Healthy Parks Healthy People.


There would have been a lot of chances to charm but not too much time to do it in. Next time I'll go.


Like Parks Victoria on Facebook 

and Healthy Parks, Healhy People too

Thursday, March 8, 2018

The joys of a non-disabled TrailRider pilot

This is the delightful tale that Doug, at Bournda (also) , sent me. Over to you Doug...


The victorious kids
A short note on on unforeseen TrailRider applications. 

On a recent Year 7 camp a student had an ankle sprain. When discussing the planned 5km walk for the next day, I suggested she could use the TrailRider.
So I spoke to the students and explained the story of how it came to be at Bournda, including seeing you at the Parks congress. I framed the exercise for that day as “Sherpa training” so that in future TrailRider activities they would be familiar with what to do. These students are from Jake’s school and telling them how he covered 11km was I think inspirational.

By the next morning the students ankle was sufficiently recovered so she could walk. However, the TrailRider went as “insurance” and other students got to be the passenger as well. 


The feedback from the teachers who supervised was that the students finished the walk quicker than previous groups and with less grumbling about having to walk!

It occurs to me that the TrailRider has a motivational effect and that may be useful to use as an educational tool about mobility needs, even when there is no client that needs it. It helps the students to see how the simple act of walking in the bush is a joy that is denied to many and something to be grateful for.