Wheelchair Trail Ride 2006
by Extreme Chairing
The wheelchair Trail Ride is an annual fundraising event held by Extreme Chairing in the USA. Spanning 40 miles of forest trails, the ride takes around 2 days to complete in a power wheelchair (Wheelchair Trail Ride Map jpg 307 kb).
This year's event started on 26 August 2006 at Beck Lake forest preserve in Glenview Illinois. On day one of the wheelchair Trail Ride the weather was nothing near perfect. Cloudy skies and scattered showers threatened to postpone the event.
Extreme Chairing advertised and tried finding people in power wheelchairs that were up for the 40 mile wheelchair adventure, but only one person came forward for the challenge. That one person was John J2 Mryczko who showed up suited and packed for the long wheelchair ride.
J2 set out across the Des Plaines River trail in his wheelchair at midday. He ran into the usual opsticals of rocks and fallen branches but nothing out of the ordinary. 45 minutes and 4.5 miles into the trail ride J2's power wheelchair started to act up. He was between the starting point and check point number one when he began having technical problems with his wheelchair motors that caused his wheelchair to pull aggressively to one side. Not ready to give up, J2 waited 20 minutes to let the wheelchair motor cool down. As he waited impatiently, he said "
My wheelchair is old, it's going to be eight years since I've had it this January, and she's been through a lot." After letting his wheelchair rest he decided to get back on the trail.
Everything seemed to be running fine again and 45 minutes later J2 arrived at check point number one.
Continuing on up the trail towards check point number two, J2 ran into the scattered showers he was dreading. With no real choice and no competition behind him he decided to let the showers pass while waiting under the Deerfield road overpass. After another twenty minute delay he was on his way again, only to be once again met by the rain ten minutes later. After thinking it over and not seeing any end to the day's scattered showers, the Trail Ride was stopped at Riverside Boulevard and would continue the following day.
On day two the wheelchair Trail Ride continued at Riverside Boulevard at 1:00 pm. Pumped up and determined, John J2 Mryczko showed up once again to complete the 45 mile trail ride. He set out on his way and was ready to go as far as his battered power wheelchair would take him. Day two was going without problems until 2 hours and 45 minutes and 15.5 miles into the trail at check point number four, when J2's wheelchair batteries completely drained out. Without extra battery packs and no power supply for the wheelchair, day two was over and the Trail Ride would again be continued another day. Disappointed, J2 said "
I don't know what happened. I really thought I would make it to the Grand Avenue finish."
With day two finished and 23 miles of the wheelchair Trail Ride completed, J2 was not calling it quits. He was to continue and complete the trail from check point number four on Monday 4 September, but due to rain was unable to. The wheelchair ride was rescheduled again for 10 September, but was once again rained out. The third time was a charm. The Trail Ride continued from check point number four at Independence Grove forest preserve on 16 September. There was a little more than 15 miles to complete and the weather was perfect. With his gear on and ready to go, J2 shouted "
I could not have asked for better weather, and this scenery is beautiful.". With clear roads ahead J2 was averaging 1 mile for every seven minutes on the trail.
His wheelchair, not as fast as he would like, was still flying past joggers and keeping up to some bicyclists. All in all the day turned out very well and with no major problems. This final day of the wheelchair Trail Ride was completed in three hours and spanned a total of 15.5 miles for the day. At a total of 9 hours, 3 days, and 39.5 miles of riding, Trail Ride 2006 was finally completed.
Thanks to the supportive companies and individuals who donated and sponsored the wheelchair Trail Ride 2006, the event was able to raise a total of $691.00! It was a bit off the goal of getting $1000.00 plus, but did beat last year's total. The aim is to try harder next year to raise more money and find more individuals to join John J2 Mryczko for the 2007 Trail Ride.
On 2 October 2006, 60% of all the money raised up to 30 September was donated to the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation (CRPF) to be used for spinal cord injury treatment research.
Extreme Chairing challenges and asks others who are interested in participating in next year's event to please look into Extreme Chairing in Spring of 2007 for updates and news.
About Extreme Chairing
Extreme Chairing is a club created for all people who enjoy watching or participating in extreme sports.
Many people in the world know about able bodied extreme sports such as, skateboarding, snowboarding, different types of racing and many others, but few know about the sports that are done by athletes with a disability. Some sports such as chairing, sitski, 4 cross, body surfing, power wheelchair racing and others are starting to gain more attention all over the world. On Extreme Chairing you can find pictures and information about these sports and some of the athletes that participate in them. You can also find people with disabilities that do not participate in these sports, but support, and are fans of these sports and ExtremeChairing.com
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