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How the Not-A-Wheelchair Rig Electric Quad has changed Paul's Life


Being impaired for the last 6 years with the neuromuscular disease “Lambert-Eaton Myasthenic Syndrome”, the Not A Wheelchair Rig has become my main mode of outside mobility for almost two years.

The 20-inch diameter, 4-inch-wide balloon tires allow me to ride paved and gravel roads, 36 inch or wider off road trails (the Rig is 32 inches wide), and ride moderately graded trails and switchbacks.

The front and rear disc brakes allow me to control my descents and throw the Rig into power slides, narrowing my turning radius on switchbacks and tight corners.

The front and rear disc brakes allow me to control my descents and throw the Rig into power slides, narrowing my turning radius on switchbacks and tight corners.

In the winter, the Rig takes me over snow covered roads and trails. With the second battery that I opted for to extend my range, I have gone 36 miles with 1000 ft of elevation gain/loss riding round trip from Angel Fire, NM to Eagle Nest, NM on a full charge with 20% charge remaining at the end of the ride. A 30 mile out and back ride was successfully done on gravel roads starting with 75% charge from my base elevation of 8600 ft. to near the top of Angel Fire Mountain, a 2000 ft gain, with the Rig recharging on the downhill return.

Being a former amateur mountain bike racer, a daily road bicycle commuter and a cross-country bicycle camper, modifications were done to keep me on my Rig year-round. With a height of 6 ft.
1 ¾ inches I needed more leg room and a taller seat back. For the legs, Utah Trikes made me an 8 inch longer front boom for the bumper and foot rests.

The provided wheelchair-like foot rests were removed and I made foot stirrups out of 1-inch poly webbing and nylon quick release snaps anchored to the bumper. Anti-slip adhesive strips were added to the top and back of the bumper where the bottom of my boots rest to aid grip and protect the powder coat. This allowed me a more comfortable positioning of my legs and feet while flattening my lower back into a relaxed position.

Utah Trikes made me a taller seat back by welding two seat backs together that were then mounted to the rear of the seat base. My wife and I made a custom seat back out of poly mesh, poly webbing and nylon quick releases.

Due to my difficulty sitting upright from muscle weakness, I needed the seat base front raised by two inches and the seat back recline more than stock. This was achieved by placing 25 mm steel spacers between the front mounting bolts of the seat base mount to the frame, then additional 25 mm spacers between the front of the mounting bolts of the slide mechanism to the seat base mount.

These spacers were secured using 25 mm longer than the stock Allen bolts. The 2-inch foam seat cushion was removed; I sit comfortably on the cloth seat base, thus keeping the seat base height effectively the same as before my modifications.

The seat can still be slid forward and back. Given my passion for mountain biking, a roll bar was added to the top of the seat back using ¾ inch galvanized conduit pipe slid inside the seat top tubes and bolting them in place.

The seat frame was triangulated with 1 inch diameter x 1/16 inch thick 6061 aluminum pipe that was bolted to the top of the seat back and the front of the seat base. The roll bar and triangulated seat braces were then covered with foam pipe insulation.

To keep me secure from hard stops and my occasional tip over (too many to count) and full rollover (1 so far) on off camber trails, a 4-point restraint, made by me from 2-inch poly webbing and parachute quick releases, was mounted to the seat base back junction bolts and the top of the taller seat back.

To the rear of the Rig, the optional rack was added by Utah Trikes, to which I hard mounted a Pelican Storm Case (model no. iM2750) which gives me plenty of weather proof storage (my grocery getter).

Additionally, to the Rig, I have added head and tail lights, a safety triangle, rear and side reflectors, an electronic horn and two safety flags (procured from Utah Trikes).

To keep the mud and wet from slinging up from the tires, fenders were procured from Utah Trikes for which I fabricated custom mounts from ½-inch x 1/8-inch aluminum bar stock.

For cold weather riding, I cannibalized a Zzipper fairing off my two-wheeled Ryan Recumbent Vanguard. Insulated handguards were made from enduro motorcycles' brake lever protectors and wind deflectors. I fabricated from 3-quart milk jugs (Lactaid Milk jugs) and blacksmith leather, then lined them with shearling lambswool.

Temps down to 6 o F (-14 o C) have been ridden in with my remaining comfortably warm while wearing insulated boots and winter motorcycle gear consisting of pants, jacket, gloves, and helmet.

For parades. I decorate the Rig with a longhorn steer skull and accent lighting and appropriate decorations for the event. The Rig has taken me to: hardware stores, grocery store, restaurants, church, the post office, friends’ homes, the playground to watch my grandchildren play, parades, gathering roadside trash on community clean up days, my sister’s ranch 6.7 miles away, all over the mountain bike and multi use trails in Angel Fire, New Mexico and Palo Duro Canyon State Park, Texas, and daily rides together with my dog, Luna, running full tilt alongside.

Luna is not a barker, but when I put on my helmet and sit on the Rig, she barks as fast as her tail wags until I get rolling and she gets running. We both went from walking together for only a quarter mile on a good day with my using canes, to going for up to 9-mile rolls and runs together. Luna is as happy as I am with “The Rig”. My car is not as happy and gasoline consumption has dropped dramatically.

Conversations begin every time I stop around folks and I answer their questions about the Rig and tell them what it is and what it has done for me. A lady with paraplegia was impressed and realized the new potentials she could achieve with the Rig. A gentleman with cerebral palsy stopped while I was loading groceries into the Rig. He asked questions and wanted to know where he could find out more information. A gentleman on the Lighthouse Trail in Palo Duro
Canyon took pictures of the Rig and could not wait to show them to his paraplegic brother who has difficulty getting out and about on his current wheelchair. A lady on that same trail took pictures to show her brother who has multiple sclerosis.

My Rig was recently lent to a gentleman with Muscular Dystrophy who was visiting the area and needed an electric “scooter” to get around. He was awed by this new type of transport. All of them I direct to utahtrikes.com and say their lives will be changed for the better! Luna and I thank you greatly, Cambry Kayman-Nelson, Zach Nelson, and Utah Trikes for “The Ride” of our lives!!!

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