As I spoke about in my post about my trip to Brussels, which you can read here, navigating the city in a wheelchair certainly has it's challenges. Inspired by my trip here's a humorous look at how to be prepared for a wheelchair ride in the city.
Helmet- the cobble stones and paving can give you quite the bumpy ride, as well as navigating the curbs and often non existent drops. Or the drops in the pavement that you hit your front wheels where the road rises from the gutter. All of these can make you go flying forward and potentially face first onto the ground. So buckle up your helmet and your seat belt.
Knee pads/ shin pads- In the same vain as above. Protect your legs.
Steel toe caps- I'm forever being pushed into walls or people, with the pusher's misjudging how far my footplates stick out and how close to walls etc you are. And I am always the one that gets the dirty looks if I'm pushed into a person.
Bell/ mega phone- Cities can mean a lot of foot traffic and when you're in a wheelchair, even with someone pushing you being lower down you aren't on peoples eye line or peripheral vision. Using a bell or megaphone can help you clear the path to get to where you want to go.
Walking Stick- Failing the above use a walking stick to shift people out of your way. If you can shout "exterminate, exterminate" at the same time all the better. However on a practical level, if you are able to stand or walk a small amount a walking stick can be beneficial if you need to get out of your chair momentarily to navigate the kerbs or steps into buildings etc.
Sports bra- If you're a woman, especially one with larger boobies the cobbles and paving are going to cause some serious jiggle. Keep them protected and supported.
Snuggie- The blankets with the sleeves. Not only will they keep you warm if it's cold out but if you do faceplant at least it's that that gets dirty not your clothes. Just be sure to tuck it in so it doesn't get caught in your wheels and consequently making you faceplant in the first place.
Big red buggy- From experience a big red double buggy as your escort really helps clear the way and makes people take notice. Watch out folks, the Queen is coming through.
Spoon- Always need an extra one right? Plus you may stop for waffles!
A sense of humour- There are always going to be some incidents, show the world you can still laugh.