Diestco Manufacturing to Co-Sponsor Ian’s Ride Event
- By Laurie Watanabe
- May 20, 2022
Diestco Manufacturing Corp. is co-sponsoring a world-record attempt by a person riding a power wheelchair.
In a May 19 news announcement, Diestco said it is supporting Ian Mackay, Executive Director of Ian’s Ride, as Mackay attempts to ride a power chair for 24 straight hours at Sauvie Island, Ore.
The event is timed to correspond with the summer solstice: It begins at 8 p.m. Pacific on June 21, and Ian’s Ride said, “The goal is to [ride] at least 200 miles over the next 24 hours.”
The organization noted a list of challenges it’s expecting Mackay to face during the ride, including “skin breakdown, spasticity, temperature regulation, just the discomfort of doing anything for 24 hours.”
The power chair will also have to be carefully prepared and managed, especially since, as Ian’s Ride added, “We are committed to this date and will endure whatever weather is thrown at us.”
On the Ian’s Ride Web site, Mackay said of the event, “I’m a big fan of long rides in my wheelchair and pushing my limits. This solstice I’ll endure the biggest challenge yet: 200 miles within 24 hours! I’m doing this to advocate for more safe, accessible, connected pathways for people with all abilities, and to encourage all people to get outside.”
The organization is inviting supporters to join the ride, noting, “You will need to be able to average 12 mph to keep up.”
A native Californian and avid outdoorsman, Mackay studied botany and biology in college, eventually enrolling at the University of California Santa Cruz. His hobbies included cycling and other outdoor activities.
In June 2008, Mackay, then 26, sustained a spinal cord injury near his C2 vertebra while bicycling home from campus. After rehab, he moved to Port Angeles, Wash. Initially put on a ventilator, Mackay eventually regained the ability to breathe on his own and began venturing along the Olympic Discovery Trail. Before long, he and his power chair were traveling up to 20 miles per day. “I’ve put nearly 10,000 miles on my chair since then and am a well-known feature on the trails near my home,” Mackay said on the Ian’s Ride Web site.
Ian’s Ride was created in 2016, when Mackay undertook a cross-country-style trip in Washington, eventually covering 335 miles in his chair while friends joined him on their bikes. Along the way, other wheelchair users and cyclists also joined the event.
Ian’s Ride is now a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization devoted to “promoting outdoor accessibility, furthering technology, and encouraging support services for those with mobility impairments.”
Learn more about Ian’s Ride or the world-record attempt on the organization’s Web site.
Laurie Watanabe is the editor of Mobility Management. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.