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Thread: Maybe be a dumb question about bike paths...

  1. #1

    Maybe be a dumb question about bike paths...

    So, I have two things I want to accomplish.

    1) is that I am a new manual chair user and I want to build up strength but preferably on a surface that is a little easy without slants and things that are really difficult to navigate (pinched nerve in shoulder trying to do a long slanted uphill sidewalk to soon, man those are hard)

    2) is that I have learned that my Service Dog LOVES rolling at a good clip. He must have been hating my slow feeble gait these last 7 years of working for me. I would love to find a place to roll fast and give him some fun exercise.

    So, I have been trying to think of a place where I can basically walk my dog for exercise and increase my strength.

    We have these wonderful bike paths down by the beach that are smooth and flat and would be perfect. Except for the two things that worry me.

    One being etiquette. Is it rude to roll your wheelchair on a bike path and possibly get in the way of actual bikes? And maybe get your dog run over at the same time..

    And the second being sand. Does sand do bad things to wheelchairs?

    Thanks,
    Oli

  2. #2
    I'm no expert- but I can tell you what I've been doing to train for the upcoming Larosa Loop. I've been finding parking lots of schools on Sundays. Also- running tracks. Some schools let the public use their tracks and some churches as well. They're great and flat. I had to switch and go the wrong way for a while to even out the turns on my arms. A runner can avoid me easily and the surfaces I've found are pretty good. I like the spongey black tops though I'm sure they suck up some of my rolling power.

  3. #3
    Senior Member wheeliecoach's Avatar
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    I have pushed on the bike paths before...just stay to the right and if they know ettiquite...they will yell "on your left" so you know they are coming. My friend has taken her service dog on them as well.
    "Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot nothing's going to get better. It's not." - Dr. Seuss

  4. #4
    Google to see if you have any rails to trails trails in your state. Rails to Trails are former railroad beds paved for bike/walker/runner/wheelchair use, because they are former railroad beds they are almost flat and not at all demanding for pushing or handcycling.

  5. #5
    Moderator jody's Avatar
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    I use my big ole trike on the bike paths and sidewalks.
    its not actually working right now though, im bummed.
    anyway, I do stay to the right, and have encountered only one pissy biker.

    I always let folks know im comming up behind them if on the sidewalk.

    school parking lots work well aslo as stated above.

  6. #6
    Thanks, it is a small town so I know every square inch of it. This is the only smooth flat place there is, other than the track idea which I like as well except for the spongyness. There is a big track by the beach as well.

    I guess I would be a little concerned about the safety of my little Service Dog on a bike path now that I think about it. I wonder if the bikes would run him over as he walks on my left. I am thinking that unless it is really empty it could be dangerous for him. Maybe this isn't such a good idea. It sure would be fun and beautiful though.

    I understand why sidewalks are all slightly tilted but darn they are hard to roll on. Do other people find this problem too?

    I might just have to use the track idea instead of the bike path....
    Thanks so much

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Oli View Post

    I understand why sidewalks are all slightly tilted but darn they are hard to roll on. Do other people find this problem too?

    Dear Lord- yes. I'm experimenting with leaning and seeing how that changes how hard I have to push. Also- putting some slight rolling resistance with my gloves on one wheel works but isn't a perfect solution either.

    I wish there was a setting on the hubs to give more ease and less ease- a tensioner of some kind. Hmmm. Time for me to go to the drawing board it seems. I'm sure someone's already made it.

    Entrances to buildings are my nemesis currently. Everyone enters at an angle and I need to hit it head-on. I've noticed some people are good at figuring out where I need to go and others stand directly in front of the opening and expect me to wiggle on in there. I should get a wide load flag. Maybe something with a flashing light

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Oli View Post
    Is it rude to roll your wheelchair on a bike path and possibly get in the way of actual bikes?
    No. Just be courteous and make room if need be. Bikes go faster than chairs that we push.

    And the second being sand. Does sand do bad things to wheelchairs?
    Depends what it gets into, but I wouldn't worry about it.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by ancientgimp View Post
    Google to see if you have any rails to trails trails in your state. Rails to Trails are former railroad beds paved for bike/walker/runner/wheelchair use, because they are former railroad beds they are almost flat and not at all demanding for pushing or handcycling.
    this is a good suggestion, and an option I forgot about.

    http://www.railstotrails.org/


  10. #10
    Maybe I should start another thread about things experienced wheelers can teach us newbies who are clueless.

    Stuff about going through doorways. Rolling on slanted sidewalks and ways to cross the street without running down pedestrians (gotta hit those ramps at a certain angle). Dealing with your chair and your Service Dog and how not to take up SO much room and have people step on your Service Dog and so on.... Tips and tricks.... Maybe there is already a thread like this...?

    Looks like there are really only the two bike paths in my area with one of them being less busy than the other. I 'may' try each of them out and see if it is dangerous for my dog. He is the most important thing to me and if he were injured it would be serious for me (and him).

    Other than that I will try out the big track at the college. Could be some good exercise!

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