I saw a wheelchair last week that had a front wheel attached and pedals and handle bars. It looked like a tricycle, but it was a wheelchair. Do you know what these are called?
Wheelchair tricycles are designed for traveling long distances. They can also handle rough terrain with more ease then their 2-wheeled counterparts. Wheelchair tricycles are manual wheelchairs that are powered by a hand crank. So instead of pedaling with your feet like you would a tricycle, a wheelchair trike is hand-cycled.
Wheelchair tricycles give the rider more independence to travel further distances. This is why they are often donated to needy individuals in third world countries such as Cambodia, Sri Lanka and Tanzania, where the terrain is rough and mountainous. In many cases, these individuals would never be able to venture outside without wheelchair tricycles. Wheelchair tricycles have literally opened doors for individuals who need to travel long distances to school or work on rough roads.
For the North American clime and terrain, a wheelchair tricycle would be ideal for those who live in rural areas or for those that enjoy a lot of hiking and beach going. The main advantage of the wheelchair tricycle is its large front wheel, which can move smoothly through sand, mud, dirt and gravel. Wheelchair tricycles are also very useful for people with one-sided paralysis (or only one strong hand). This is because the hand-crank on a wheelchair tricycle can be powered with a single hand; whereas you need one hand on either wheel to power a manual wheelchair.
However, wheelchair tricycles aren’t for everyone. For example, if you spend most of your time indoors or if you ride public transit, the tricycle’s large front tire is often too cumbersome for indoor and bus travel.