Exploring Trails as a Wheelchair User: My Experience Driving a Spider Car
Note: Social distancing was practiced the whole time, and masks were worn when in close-contact with people outside our household (which was only 15-20 minutes of our entire excursion). We didn’t wear masks out on the trail, but we weren’t in close contact with anyone out there. Also, all these thoughts are my own, I’m not partnered with Adventure Sports Innovation, just a happy customer!
A few weeks ago, my parents and I went to Chattanooga, TN and went off-roading and on trails using a spider car!
What is a spider car, you may be wondering? That’s the same question I had when we got there. (My parents didn’t tell me where we were going or what we were doing, I was just told to get in the car!)
A spider car, technically called a Swincar E-Spider Off-Road Vehicle, is a 4 wheel electric off-road vehicle! What makes the spider car unique is that the wheels move independently from each other and move up and down to keep themselves on the ground even when going up or down inclines or over obstacles. Here’s a picture and a link to a video to explain better than I can! (neither of these are my own content).
Most importantly (for me): they are all hand-controlled!! If you have full use of your hands, I think you’d be able to drive one! My fingers did tire occasionally, but I just switched to using my pointer finger to control the trigger for a little while and it was no problem. If you don’t have full use of your hands, they do have at least one 2-person car at Adventure Sports Innovation, so you should be able to be a passenger and still enjoy the trails!
We started off going on flat paths to learn how to control the cars and go over small obstacles and inclines, then went to more advanced terrain. To be honest, historically I am not a fan of going off-road. It makes me incredibly nervous. When we got there and I discovered the surprise was going off-road and then realized I would be driving (rather than being a passenger where I could close my eyes and wait to be done with the anxiety-inducing steep hill), I looked at my mom like she was crazy. BUT IT WAS ACTUALLY VERY FUN AND NOT NERVE-WRACKING! Our guide Chris was spectacular and assured me we weren’t going to do anything crazy. Once I started driving, I felt very comfortable and had an excellent time! I think being in control actually calmed my nerves too.
I honestly enjoyed the whole experience, but my favorite part was going very quickly through the fields at top speeds (around 18 mph). As a wheelchair user, I’ve never been able to run through a field- until this day. And I LOVED it. It was such a joyous and freeing feeling, especially after being mostly in my house or apartment for the past 10 months!!
If you’re in Chattanooga or in driving distance to it, I would highly recommend checking out Adventure Sports Innovation and taking a tour on their Spider Cars for an accessible way to get outside that is COVID-safe!!
After our tour, my family made our way to the Pinkberry downtown, which is the only Pinkberry in Tennessee (our local Nashville location closed in 2013, and I miss it dearly). My parents and I are obsessed with Pinkberry frozen yogurt, which is something you already know if you follow me on Instagram (@rosieroaming). Check out my “airports” highlight for proof, where I post pictures of airports when I travel through them and give my opinion, which usually relies on decor and whether or not they have a Pinkberry. Hopefully in 2021 I’ll be able to get back to an airport at some point- it’s been since August 2019 since I’ve been to one, a personal record for me.
Click here for original blog of “Exploring Trails as a Wheelchair User: My Experience Driving a Spider Car, Rosie Roaming, January 24 2021”
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Swincar USA is a network of dealers, eco-tour operators, service centers, and independent sales agents around the country. Built around Adventure Sports Innovation – the first Swincar fleet operator and now distributor in the U.S. For more information about the manufacturer, go to Swincar.net We work together to show America that off-roading can be quiet, low-impact, emission-free, and SO. MUCH. FUN.