Monday, March 31, 2014

Salzburg to Vienna


From Dean:


All I can say is ride the rail jet. Hi speed. Handicap friendly lift on train. Free wine in first class. Woo hoo. 9 euros charge total for handicaps. Amazing. Free meal and wine included. Note: Travelscoot is happy!

Cleveland OH

This is me (Elizabeth), trying the TravelScoot for the first time.  That was a life-changing day! 

If you're in the Cleveland area and are interested in seeing a TravelScoot in person, Julie is offering to demonstrate hers.  She is interested in helping anyone regain the mobility they deserve.

Send an email to elizabeth@ifisher.com if you'd like to get in touch with Julie.

Question about new Shopper Model TravelScoot


I've used my Travel Scoot for two years now, but have had battery issues.  We really enjoy Carnival cruises, but the standard door is 22" wide, and my Scoot is 23" wide. So I need to fold it down every time I go back to the cabin.  My last cruise I just skipped some activities instead. So I'm thinking about selling my regular Scoot and buying the new Shopper model, which being even lighter is appealing to me.  Anyone tried it? 

Thanks so much, 

Julie

You can answer Julie's question by posting a comment on this post, or you can send it to me (elizabeth@ifisher.com) and I'll be sure she gets it.  If you have this model and have a picture of yourself using it, I know I'm not the only one who wants to see it!

To read more about the Shopper, go to http://travelscoot.com/products/mobility-scooters.html.

Scooting in Sephora



From Rhonda:

I attended a Sephora VIB ROUGE special event this weekend.  I never could have walked around the store as much as I rode around on my scooter.

I've been in Sephora with my TravelScoot too, and this is certainly one store where it would be difficult to move around with a more traditional scooter.   --Elizabeth

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Martha's Low Rider TravelScoot Video

I just watched this video on YouTube and had to share!  Turn up the sound so you can hear the great background music.


TravelScoot Folding Basket Installation Instructions



TravelScoot Folding Basket Installation Instructions

Unfold the basket and hook the little bungee cord with one end on one center bottom of the folding side panels, pull it underneath the bottom and hook the other end to the other folding panel.  This will prevent possible loss of little items stored in the basket later on.

Remove the beige plastic bar from the channel slot on top of the foot rest arc (that bar is just a protection of the channel during shipping).  Rest the basket with the hinge facing toward the rear into the channel slot.

Open the reusable cable tie (already in the correct place around two bars) on the basket's rear upper middle section and tie it loose onto the steering column, so that the collar clamp can still rotate when steering.

Insert the two hitch pins into the channel on the inner side next to the vertical basket bars.

You can also attach the basket to the rear.

Hook the little bungee cord to the side panels in the same way as described above.

Rest the basket with its forward edge on top of the battery* and tie it with just one cable tie onto the yoke just underneath the lever clamp.

Do not load more than 15 pounds into the basket.

* With the basket mounted on the rear you cannot stack a second SLA battery on top of main battery.  Only two Li-Ion batteries stacked on top of each other will still accept the Basket.

More pictures and instructions are in this post.

More posts about baskets for the TravelScoot are in these posts.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Taking the TravelScoot on River Cruises



Fellow TravelScooter Keith mentioned in a recent post that he had taken his scoot on a Viking River Cruise in Europe.  This prompted questions, including one from Robert, who saw on the website for Viking European river cruises that they were unable to accept disabled passengers with scooters.  He wants to know which river cruiselines do accept them.

Below is Keith's response:

Good question.  The short answer is, at the present time, I don’t think any of them presently advertise or publicly admit to allowing people with scooters.

The reasons, I believe, are several.  First, the river ships are not built for them.  There is no way you could take a regular sized mobility scooter down some of the narrow gangplanks much less drive them down the very narrow hallways or manoeuvre them into the staterooms.  You also cannot use them while on the ship; there’s just no room.  Taking them on the excursions is also somewhat problematic.  Many of the times you have to take a bus to the destination.  Sometimes there are steep stairs and many of the streets, in the areas where the ships dock and conduct their tours, are cobblestone with limited curb cuts.  There is also the potential problem of getting off the ship when it is ‘rafted’ (when two or three ship are tied up beside one another) to another.  In that case you’d need to be able to climb to whatever deck they’re using for crossing from one ship to the next, go through the other ships and then off the gangplank on the nearest one to shore.  If everything is connected on the middle deck that wouldn’t be a problem; if however it’s connected on the upper deck that may be a problem as you’d need someone to carry the scooter up the last flight (many of the cruise ships have elevators – not all so make sure you check – but they don’t go to the top deck so you’d need to be able to walk to the top deck and have someone carry the scoot up to the top deck) and then through the other ship(s) and down onto the dock.  Problematic? Potentially.  Impossible? No.

Why don’t they advertise it or willingly accept them?  I think it’s because they’re scared of the word motorized.  They may well envision a large scooter that is too wide for the gangplank and weighing in at up to 200 lbs.  Not something that would be easy for the crew to deal with.  For some reason they don’t wish to listen to reason and are presently sticking by their standard statements where they try and lump everyone into one category. Viking’s statement is “Motorized scooters are not typically suitable on international cruises and cannot be accommodated.

I don’t think the Travelscoot is a typical scooter and there is nothing they need to do to ‘accommodate’ it other than allow the person to bring it - accommodation for it is even less so than for a manual wheelchair (I say less, because it’s smaller than a standard manual wheelchair and it weighs less than a standard manual wheelchair) but they do allow manual wheelchairs.

Having said that, we did take our Travelscoot (BTW,  I am in no way connected with Travelscoot, other than I own one) on a Viking River Cruise last year.  We informed them of it and I needed to provide them with the specifics and a doctor’s note regarding its use.  The Travelscoot was narrow enough to take up and down the gang planks.  I was able to park it next to the two wheelchairs in the lobby (taking my battery with me into the stateroom).  Please note that I was able to walk, with my cane and braces, the short distance to the room.  This would be a necessity. I (or the bus driver) was able to place it in the luggage storage area under the bus for transportation.  There were never any issues (just remember to apply the brake so it doesn’t go rolling around).  Using it I never held anyone back and I was able to travel to most of the places (there were two places that I couldn’t take it and that was because they both involved multiple stairs and very uneven terrain) that were offered.  I was able to use it on all of the streets.  It’s light enough that I could lift it, if necessary, where there were no curb cutaways.  Was it a simple matter?  No, not all the time.  But we could certainly solve any problems we ran into.  Having said that, I often run into situations here in our home town or when travelling to other places.  Most of these problems, I have found, can be solved.  It’s no different on a river cruise.

If you’re interested you can read some of our experiences on this site, http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1932164

We loved our trip and would like to do several more.  We are in the planning phases for one for next year but at the present time Viking is telling me that I’m not allowed to bring the Travelscoot.  They admit that they can’t stop me from bringing one but tell me that I will not be able to use it on the excursions (however I’m more than welcome to ‘walk’ or bring a  manual wheelchair even if it is larger and heavier).

I find some of their statements insulting and bordering on rude.  Why are we wanting to travel again with Viking?  Basically we really, really enjoyed our time.  The crew (from the officers to chefs to wait staff to room service to program director to deck crew)  really made the trip and we’d like to experience it one or two more times before we are not able to travel any more.  I thought there would be no problems with taking the Travelscoot on another Viking cruise because we’d done it once and there were no issues for the staff and the few we had for ourselves we dealt with.  However, we were referred to a ‘Senior Director of Reservations’ who is being quite obstinate.  I think they have a large enough clientele base and don’t believe they need to cater to those of us who have disabilities.  It will only change if people question them and challenge their ‘rules’.

Several of the lines now offer ‘disabled’ suites.  I believe Scenic does.  Although they don’t state that they allow scooters some companies are slowly making some accommodations.  I would encourage you not to give up.  There were several people on our cruise that came despite needing a mobility aid like a scooter but were told no by Viking.  They regretted not fighting to take one as they had great difficulties on the excursions (it’s not that distance wise the excursions are that long but many of us have difficulties with walking and then standing for protracted periods and then repeating the cycle).