The Hoveround as Commuter Vehicle


I'd written about this once before as a joke (in "Is there a way to speed up my Hoveround Powerchair?") where a speed-crazed grandmother soups-up her powerchair and hits the motorways with the zealousness of a NASCAR winner.

But yesterday, in five o'clock rush hour traffic, I saw my post come to life. Yes, across Pittsburgh's busy East Carson Street, a white-haired lady in a high-powered electrified chair went off-sidewalk and out-of-the-box with determination and a dream, careening down our chaotic streets like Dale Earnhardt Junior himself was hot on her tires.

I was stopped at the light, so I got to see her make a lane for herself on a two-way street, navigating through several major intersections, startling motorists stopped at lights, who undoubtedly looked over to see an elderly lady's head even with their passenger window and levitating on by...


The sidewalks have just been replaced through this area and there are shiny new sloped curbs, made for just these sorts of assisting devices. But the lure of hitting the mean streets and reliving one's racing days must just be too much to resist.

How can you say no to the smell of the asphalt, the clouds of exhaust, and the wind through your hair when you have such power right there beneath you?

So, to this undaunted driver I say, please-- stay safe out there, lady. And hey-- get a helmet, would you? (Because I'd kinda like photos of that, too.) :)

18 comments:

Indigo Roth said...

Hey Jenn! This worries me from a social disorder standpoint. Will we see groups of pensioners hanging around late night, drinking and holding illegal chair races? For 'pinks'?! Roth x

Jenn Thorson said...

Indigo- You're calling to mind that Monty Python skit where old lady gangs were terrorizing neighborhoods, beating up youths, and mocking the coppers. :)

Jaffer said...

+1 to Indigo Roth for his comment !

I'm quite however by this lady's will to take the risk - if she even realizes the danger

I hope she reached her earthly destination safe.

Jaffer said...

"Amused, shocked, surprised, worried"

Words I missed to place between in my previous comment between 'quite' and 'however'

Jenn Thorson said...

Jaffer- Yeah, I do hope she'll remain safe-- it is absolutely a risk she's taking, particularly on the South Side where there are a lot of college student drivers who don't necessarily pay a lot of attention.

I don't know what our local driving laws are here, to know whether what she's doing is even legal. Or whether she qualifies as a bicycle legally.

ReformingGeek said...

Oh my. She would be a pancake around here.

I admire her courage. You don't have to look too far for blog fodder.

Jenn Thorson said...

Reforming Geek- If this is a regular occurrence, she may end up one here, too.

(I haven't seen her at rush hour before, and I keep a pretty regular schedule, so I'm hoping this was a one-shot deal.)

She was making some good time, though!

Static said...

I'd like to give her a bull bar for the front of her wheelchair and a rocket launcher. It would make rush hour more interesting.

Jenn Thorson said...

I would like her to have some reflectors or that orange flag someone else had mentioned. I don't think a person turning right would see her in their blind spot.

Static said...

Until there is some ordinance or law people will simply have to be more attentive and careful (including her).

MikeWJ said...

I hope she leads the local police on a high-speed chase and ends up going out in a blaze of hot lead and tear gas. Good for her! Rebel!

Static said...

Now THAT is what I'm talkin' about! :D

Indigo Roth said...

Hey Jenn!

HA! I know it well!

"What are they in it for, these old hoodlums, these layabouts in lace?"

Bloody marvellous. Right up there with the Inflammatory Hungarian Phrase Book.

Roth x

Shanna said...

Just last year they stopped a guy on the Interstate here in Milwaukee for driving on his motorized chair. 10:00pm so not as bad as during rush hour but still not the brightest move you can make. ;) Guess when you need to get somewhere you do what you gotta do. ;)

Boom Boom Larew said...

I see more and more of those things around. I often wonder how many people actually need them.

When I finally get mine I'm up for racing for pinks against Indigo! (I'm going to pep mine up with some NOS!)

meleah rebeccah said...

"a white-haired lady in a high-powered electrified chair went off-sidewalk and out-of-the-box with determination and a dream, careening down our chaotic streets like Dale Earnhardt Junior himself was hot on her tires."

She's my flippen hero!!

Margaret Andrews said...

Go, go, Granny, I say. I also noticed that you have at least two other hoverround posts, so...

Mulled Vine said...

We have a woman in our little town that bombs along the roads at pace, and then occasionally does the same on the pavements.