Monday, March 21, 2011

Rough Riderz getting British wheelchair users off-road for fun

From Metro in the UK:

The wheelchair-bound riders are addicted to ‘four-cross’, relying on their finely honed reflexes to hurtle down trails in Scotland and Cumbria at up to 30mph on modified four-wheelers.

Phil Hall, who was paralysed in a motorcycle accident in Tenerife seven years ago, said the group can give mountain bikers a run for their money.

He said: ‘We play a game of cat and mouse with the able-bodied guys that come along. Where the trail bends they have to slow down to avoid smashing into the corner. But we’re hurtling into the bend and drifting the bike round on all four wheels.’

The 38-year-old from Preston said he was determined to try four-cross after seeing a US poster of a similar bike.

He couldn’t find anything in Britain, so he set up Rough Riderz.

Mr Hall said: ‘Once I started I was instantly addicted – it’s all I wanted to do.’

The price of the machines – £7,000 – can be prohibitive but the Riderz have a club bike which means they can run £125-a-day taster sessions in Whinlatter, near Keswick.

They plan to expand four cross across Britain.

Mr Hall added: ‘Getting airborne is tough but that’s what we do for pleasure – testing ourselves and pushing it to that limit’.