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The Need for Speed — 8 Comments

  1. I hope the wheelchair works out for both of you. The problem with a Briggs and Stratton engine is that they are no longer made in Milwaukee. The blocks are cast in Mexico and then assembled in China. Your best bet is a Koehler engine. They are still made and built in the US. 

    • I’m not worried about where the engine comes from, just so long as it goes.  There must be plenty lying around.  I might even buy two and make a motorised hang-glider…..

  2. Some years ago Mrs M temporarily needed a wheelchair and I then discovered first that, no matter how flat you have always thought a particular road to be, it will suddenly seem to have gradients of Alpine proportions once you’re pushing a ‘chair’. Secondly, going downhill is harder than uphill, the effort may seem less but your inability to control the accelerating monster (gravity is rarely your friend with a wheelchair) soon takes over and the lack of grip on your shoe-soles provides little braking efficiency. You also discover that any quaint cobbled-street market-towns are a definite no-no, unless you want to unsettle her dental features and most of her other body-parts too.

    Another factor is that you end up behaving like dog-owners – whenever two wheelchair ‘teams’ meet, complete strangers though they may be, the upper part, the pushers, hold one conversation whilst the lower part, the pushed, engage in their own separate banter a couple of feet lower down. OK, maybe it’s not quite as unhygienic as the dogs’ mutual arse-sniffing procedure, but otherwise very similar. You end up chatting to folk you’d never consider as chat-fodder, the fraternity of fellow chair-folk overwhelming any other natural reticence.

    That wheelchair fortunately now resides, unused, in our loft, awaiting the time of our next physical disaster or acquiring such a feeling of isolation that we use it again just to make new friends.

    • Indeed, one of the problems with living in the mountains is that things rarely are level.  It does have the advantage that on the way down to the village I can just let go and permit gravity to do its thing, but there is no way I would push her back.  I suppose I could always hitch the chair onto the back of the car?

      I’m well used to greeting anyone and everyone as the dog provides loads of practice.  Come to think of it though, I think I have only once come across a wheelchair in the area.  That was being pushed by the parish priest  and I ain’t gonna stop to chat to him……

  3. Fold up wheels, what a good idea GD. Why didn’t I think of that? I take my Dad who’s in his eighties to the hospital occasionally. He gets about with a walking stick ok but very slowly. Last time I picked him up after an overnight stay I put him in a wheel chair that belonged to the hospital, much quicker. He got a bit panicky though when going down the ramp to the car park.

    On another note, the little icons on the top left of the comments are not showing, same for the pics to the links to Facebook and Martin Scribblerus.

  4. This time she claimed I wasn’t going fast enough and is muttering about buying a whip.

    Good thing that you’re pushing instead of pulling? Attempting to “back-lash” someone who’s behind you always has it’s inherent problems. Like whipping the back of your own head.

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