“A World Record Wheelchair Wheelie of My Own” and “Move Over, Aaron Fotheringham!”
Robert Hensel of Oswego, NY holds the record for the longest long-distance wheelie in a wheelchair, at just over six miles (that’s almost a 10K race on a wheelie!). It took him over two hours to cover that distance when I set the record in 2002. Hensel set his record for a worthy cause – to raise money for wheelchair ramps in his home town.
I’ve never tried that, but I am pretty sure that somewhere along the line, on a boring, rainy summer day, with nothing better to do, I sat in my bedroom with my stop-watch running, trying to sit stationary on a wheelie as long as I could. I am almost certain I did it for two hours once.
I am not trying to steal Hensel’s thunder, I am only trying to impress upon you how one – namely me – can really waste his youth if he’s not careful! I should have done it for charity like Hensel did to make it meaningful. Or if nothing else, I could have at least called the Guinness Book of World Records before I started!
Then again so could have my brother before he tied life preservers to my chair and vaulted over home-made ramps off the end of a dock into the Mississippi River. Real trailblazers we were. He was just more adventurous, and almost twenty years ahead of Aaron Fotheringham (though my brother is not disabled). I, on the other hand, never had fewer than two wheels on the ground at any given time, whether it was the back two, the front two (sometimes called a dork-wheelie), or penduluming from side to side.
Anyone pull off anything more adventurous than this on their (or their brother’s) wheelchair when they were a kid?