Skiing in a wheelchair

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(Obviously it’s not me in the photo)

Have you ever looked at the review of your Google location information? Probably not, you don’t have as much time as me. Well if you ever do, you might be surprised. I have discovered some fascinating things. Apparently we had snow over summer, yes we did, you just missed it, so did I. But I know we had snow because I went skiing. You can’t ski without snow, unless it was artificial snow. Google didn’t say it was artificial, it just said I went skiing. I skied to the Cleve Hotel, I skied to Wellington Park, I even skied to the Wellington Sports centre. The odd thing was I didn’t ski back from all three, perhaps the snow had melted. But it definitely said I skied on route there.

Before you all go completely crazy shouting at your phones while walking or wheeling down the road. I don’t want to get you arrested. I know Google was wrong. Shocking words and not something you expect to hear about technology. Google was wrong, I repeated it to see how it sounded. Technology makes mistakes. It’s one of the many reasons I wouldn’t fancy the idea of being in a self driving car. Technology goes wrong; very often. I’m not sure how practical the tech desk standard response would be if applied to a self driving car, when speeding down a motorway if it goes wrong: “OK sir, if you could please switch off the car, get out, wait 10 seconds, get back in and restart it.” Not instructions I would fancy following; how about you?

Then there’s the inevitable crash, no, not car crash, although that may follow a computer crash. Does your phone, pc, iPad or tablet always work 100% of the time? You might say cars use a close operating system that is more reliable. That’s true, current cars use that system. If you have ever had a fault on your current car the garage has been puzzled by, you’ll know how reliable that is. No, you won’t get me in a self driving car. I like technology a lot, but I also know its limitations.

So Google had got it wrong, it hadn’t snowed over summer. I mean I didn’t ski over summer. But I understand why it thought I had. After all it obviously bases it’s judgement on the fact I look cool. Stop shouting at your phone, people will think you are odd. The real reason is that a wheelchair runs along smoothly at a steady pace, no bouncing like a walk and too slow for a car. If Google was truly clever they would add in a weather comparison to see if there was snow. Or they could look at history and see I always update it to wheelchair. So you see I didn’t ski after all; there’s a surprise.

If I can be serious for a moment, not sure if I can. Power wheelchairs struggle in cold weather. If it gets icy and we actually get snow; I will be stuck inside along with many power wheelchair users. The base of my battery only has 1-2” clearance and the wheels would just slip. I gather that a manual chair with a Freewheel added can cope with a little snow. Plus there are specialist power chairs capable of coping with snow. But not mine. Also there are even special wheelchairs for skiing (see photo) Guess I had better not move somewhere with deep snow.

The moral of this blog is never trust technology. No not really, the moral is don’t believe everything you read, check the facts. That includes my blogs by the way. I also just wanted to have some fun.

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