Test ride for new trailrider

CHALLENGE: Alan Clarke with his daughter Kate Trentleman at the beginning of the marathon.
CHALLENGE: Alan Clarke with his daughter Kate Trentleman at the beginning of the marathon.

A trailrider, purchased through a grant that tour operator, In The Flinders received in 2017 has been put to the test through a 50 kilometre ultra-marathon in Cleland Conversation Park. 

Completing the marathon in just over 10 hours, Quinten Vanderwerf and business partner Alan Clarke, carrying Alan’s daughter Kate Tentleman, finished feeling confident in the capability of the chair. 

“Everything went off exactly as we had sort of planned. We had two batteries on standby, because it is electric assist. The use of the batteries worked out how we anticipated.”

“We thought it would be a great opportunity to showcase what the trailrider is capable of. We are quite confident in the abilities of the trailrider wheelchair, but to show the public what it can really do, taking it into an ultra-marathon is probably a pretty extreme way of showing it”, Mr Vanderwerf said. 

The team finished 20 minutes after the second to last finisher, but besides the placings, the team did not stumble across as many challenges as originally thought. 

“We thought some of the hills might be harder than what they were. But once the electric assist kicked in and helped us up the hills, it was all much easier than we anticipated.”

The trailrider is now available to be hired from In The Flinders and the team anticipate to use it for tours in the Southern Flinders Ranges, but are looking to make it available to anyone who may want to use it for other events. 

“We have had an offer of going to Kokoda and taking someone along that trail. We will go anywhere that someone needs accessibility that they otherwise would not be able to get to.” 

We will go anywhere that someone needs accessibility ...

“We ordered it on the basis that we’d be able to take visitors to the Southern Flinders on a few trails around Melrose, imagine our surprise when it handled everything we threw at it.”

Both Alan and Quinten are the sherpas for the trailrider and upon hiring it, you will not pay for the chair, only for their time. 

In the coming months, they hope to start spreading the word on their new addition, including approaching travel agencies to showcase what is available. 

If you are interested in using the trailrider, contact In The Flinders on 0428 887 845.