Lifestyle

Man Designs An Off-Road “Wheelchair” So That His Wife Can Go Places She Never Imagined

Cambry has been restricted to the pavement for most of her adult life. She’s paralyzed and gets around in a wheelchair. So, trying to help her go more places, her then-boyfriend Zack Nelson spliced together two electric bikes with a seat in the center. And it worked. Cambry said she experienced a whole new level of freedom with it. Not only could she overcome — or should I say, overdrive — obstacles that seemed impossible before, she could do miles without her shoulders getting sore.

Fast forward a year, Cambry and Zack are married and they’re starting to mass-produce the vehicle they call ‘Not-a-Wheelchair’. Throughout that time, the couple built upon the original design, making it a reliable off-roader.

More info: notawheelchair.com | YouTube

Here’s their video introduction of the off-roader

According to the couple, when choosing an adaptive off-roader, people have a few options but basically, but they either cost as much as a car or are super slow. So they put their heads together to try and build something that’s quick and light with a super long range. But getting it done wasn’t easy.

“The toughest challenge when developing ‘Not-A-Wheelchair’ is the price. We wanted to create something that is affordable for everyone. Finding quality components, and a simple enough design at the cheapest price possible took quite a bit of time,” Zack told Bored Panda. “But I think we have something now that everyone will be able to enjoy, at a fraction of the cost of other ‘off-road wheelchairs’ currently on the market.”

‘Not-a-Wheelchair’ is definitely not an indoor machine, so Cambry still uses her normal wheelchair for inside their home but any time she and Zack go to the park, or on a hike, she jumps in The Rig. “Its silent, which means that we can all still talk and chat while she rides next to the group,” her husband explained.

During these trips, ‘Not-a-Wheelchair’ really showed what it’s capable of. “We have taken The Rig to Hawaii twice for testing. The bike has to be shipped with a freight company before we go, but we ship The Rig about a week before we fly out ourselves, and it’s waiting there for us when we arrive. All this travel was before COVID was a thing. Luckily, we also live near mountains and snow with long wide flat trails to try the bike out on.”

There are currently about 2.7 million wheelchair users in the United States. The powered and manual mobility market globally is projected to grow exponentially due to aging baby boomers and increasing longevity, so special needs vehicles should become only more and more important. However, Zack wanted to remind everyone that ‘Not-a-Wheelchair’ is just a bike, with all the normal maintenance and issues that come with a bike. “It’s not a fine-tuned, polished, medical device.” That being said, the couple is very happy with it and hope other people will also enjoy it as much as they have.

‘Not-a-Wheelchair’ is fully electric and super quiet

The accessible bike can go 12mph

It has a range of 10-20 miles with one battery, and 25-35 miles with two batteries (depending on terrain, the weight of the rider, and weight of the cargo)

“Our whole goal is to provide something that is capable and affordable”

It has a rear rack mounting system to hold wheelchairs, coolers, camping gear, or a picnic basket