Lucy Keyworth’s rough but relaxing canalside ramble, as seen from a lever-propelled off-road wheelchair
I spent a chilly Wednesday morning wheeling the Slow Way route from Slaithwaite to Marsden. This was a fun 4.3km route following the canal towpath. As a wheelchair user, this walk would have been difficult in a standard wheelchair, due to the uneven and rough terrain found next to the canal.
Outdoor spaces are often difficult for disabled people to access. This could be due to man-made barriers like stiles or simply not having access to the right equipment such as off-road wheels. Thankfully, I was able to use a Mountain Trike to allow me to tackle the rough terrain and successfully complete my Slow Ways journey.
Mountain Trikes are off-road wheelchairs propelled forward using two drive levers. The suspension and wheels make it easy to cruise over rough terrain and the added electric assist really helps get you up steep hills.
The route was reasonably flat overall with the occasional bridge to push over. As it was a cold January morning, the paths were a bit muddy, but it was an enjoyable route nevertheless. I love the outdoors, the sense of freedom and escapism you get when outside surrounded by green hills or woodland. This route allowed me to switch off, relax and enjoy the mental benefits of being outdoors.
Check out Experience Community’s TikTok below to follow Lucy’s journey!
About Experience Community
Experience Community is a not-for-profit Community Interest Company that provides films and information about walks and other leisure activities for disabled people and the wider community. Because different people have varying abilities we don’t say what is or isn’t accessible, we simply provide information so that you can decide if the activity is suitable for your needs.
We hope that through providing the videos you can see exactly what the walk or activity has to offer. In addition to this, we also provide written information, maps, photos and links to other websites so that you can really get a grasp of what to expect.
We can provide specialist equipment such as these Mountain Trikes and off-road hand cycles and organise rambles across the North and beyond. We also offer advice and consultancy to make recreational services more suitable for disabled people. Do get in touch!
For more information this is the Experience Community website! Do you have a Slow Ways wheeling story? We’d love to hear it!
Lucy Keyworth is founder of Leeds Paraclimbing Club. She is also the delivery officer at Experience Community, whose offices are right next to this Slow Way at Slaithwaite (incidentally pronounced ‘Slawit’!).