rss

The Scooter Scoop

Anything and everything about our journey with the Triad Scooter.

Specify Alternate Text

Gatlinburg, TN: Why We Chose the Triad Scooter

The winters in New England can be brutal.

Snowy driveway in New England

Yes, this is our driveway. There is a Ford E-350 van buried behind that pile.

Chris digging us out of the snow

Yes, that is a Subaru Outback buried in snow in the background of Chris's smiling face..

While we have a long time before we retire, we have started to take trips to places that might be a possibility. TN has been on our radar because of the beauty, low taxes, cosmopolitan areas, music and more. We checked out the Nashville area in the past, but we wanted to check out eastern TN. Combining  a vacation and location scouting seemed perfect. We own a Marriott timeshare, but Marriott doesn't have any timeshares in TN at all, so we traded for one in Gatlinburg that would meet our needs. However, how could we do this trip without a scooter even though he has a handicapped placard? And how could I get my husband to even look at a scooter after he hated the traditional scooter he tried at Disney?


SCOOTER DECISIONS:
I looked at renting a normal scooter up here in Boston (wouldn't fit in our Subaru Crosstrek) or renting one at Maypops on the strip in downtown Gatlinburg.

 

Renting one down there meant renting one like they have at Disney. My husband hated the scooters at Disney. Too low and too big (we wouldn't be able to get one into our car to visit the sites. Plus, there were big hills and teeny scooters just wouldn't work for the inclines) So, after extensive research and disregarding the advice to automatically discount three-wheel scooters that I found on many sites, I found the Triad brand of scooters. It was a revelation to me. THIS, THIS TRIAD scooter I could show him and it might appeal to him.

This scooter was ONE SEXY SCOOTER!

And hubby agreed, it was ONE SEXY SCOOTER. Eureka!

What's more, it could fit in our Subaru Crosstrek, go up the hills of Gatlinburg, and fit in an elevator!

My husband knew that in order to do this trip, he needed help, and this fit the bill. We had two months to get the scooter, figure out how to get it into our car, and go!

But which model of Triad scooter?
 

THE MODEL DECISION PROCESS

We reached out to Triad to see if there was a dealer in our area. There wasn't, but there WAS someone signed up for the Triad Friends program in Salem, MA. Triad reached out to her and she said "yes" to sharing her email and phone. We got in touch with Joanne (thanks so much, Joanne!), and it helped immensely with our decision. My husband and I went over one spring day and she let my husband graciously try her SF model. 

The SF model has a hump in the middle of it. My husband has drop foot so it was difficult for him to lift his leg up. This made our decision easy. At the time, Triad had an XL model (now discontinued?), and the SF and SF2 models.  The CSX model wasn't even on the website. When I emailed Triad saying we would like to buy one, they gave us the specs for the CSX. We were immediately hooked on the CSX. (Of course, my husband also purchased the Subaru Crosstrek so he likes good looking compact crossovers.)  We tried to patiently wait for it. (Please be advised that it can take weeks for delivery, so if you decide to get one and you don't have a dealer, there will be a time when you patiently try to count down the days.)

THE WAIT AND NEW FRIENDS:

If you don't know it, Triad has a facebook page. I scoured that page, and Triad reposted something from one of their dealers about a lift. Since we were trying to figure out how to get the scooter down to Gatlinburg, I sent them a message and a friendship with Jeff and Missy from Tri Electric Scooters was born. Jeff sent me recommendations on how to augment our scooter with after market parts, and you will see some of those recommendations on the parts page. Feel free to chime in with comments there as well.

 

SCOOTER FIT:
The Triad 750 CSX, which we received the week before we left, was 45 inches long and 29 inches wide.

It totally changed our trip for the better. We have further posts in our travel section.

 

The Triad driving past a sea of traditional scooters. Notice the seat height of the Triad.

The Triad driving past a sea of traditional scooters that are available to rent from Maypops on the strip in Gatlinburg, TN. Notice the seat height of the Triad.


 
Specify Alternate Text

Coming to Terms

There is a certain difficulty in coming to terms with a disability.  Where, in my 20’s, I could participate in Bi-Athlons and run 3 miles followed by 20 miles of bike riding, to now, in my 50’s, where I can’t run a single step and all of my walking is predicated by me pre-determining each single step.  It’s not an easy  adjustment to admit this as the progression was very slow and almost unnoticeable to many of my family and friends. 

I am blessed with Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia, an inherited disease where my legs don’t function as my brain would normally dictate.  The motor control of my legs is disrupted with very, very small tremors to my legs and each step that I take is a thought out, predicated process.  Running is impossible.  But to my advantage my case is very minor compared to those with HSP who are wheel-chair bound and require Baclofen pumps to control the tremors.  I inherited this through my French-Canadian mother.

The disease travels through French-Canadian mothers into their children.  My mom was one of thirteen and had two brothers who were afflicted so much that they became totally disabled.  Again, my case is relatively minor where I can still walk without a cane for short distances. 

My family, my wife and two children, had made many trips to Orlando Disneyworld and Universal Studios in the late ‘90s into the early 2000’s.  Each time we went on vacation it was harder and harder for me to walk the miles necessary to participate.  In early 2016 we planned out another “anniversary” trip to Orlando and my wife had rented me a typical scooter that we would take to the parks each day for my transportation.  Issues arose as first the scooter was heavy, had less than necessary battery power, and lastly left me feeling truly handicapped as people frequently would step directly in front of the scooter as if my motion was an afterthought to their day.  Mostly the typical scooter leaves you at wheel-chair height, feeling truly handicapped and somewhat lesser of a functioning human being.

The last thing that I wanted to think about after the 2016 Orlando vacation ordeal was purchasing a scooter for my personal use.  I was resigned at the age of 53 to just living out my life and eventually using a cane and then a walker to get around.   My persistent wife, Katherine, studied the market for available options and came across the Triad CSX.  She pitched to me the differences between the Triad scooter and typical scooter.  The Triad would leave me sitting around head-height to other folks walking head height and it had a more robust battery/power system.  

So I finally “came to terms” by buying a Triad CSX.  It allows me to be mobile at work and home with the same head-height as the adjacent walking folks, has a battery that last for 20 miles, and has three power settings so that I can get up inclines as steep as 17 degrees.   I am an aerospace design engineer and use it mostly at work to get around the manufacturing plant where my progressive disability had limited my mobility over the years.  I think that the ability of the Triad CSX to leave a person in an “upright” position is a big advantage for folks who are on the edge of admitting that they need mobility assistance.

Specify Alternate Text

Our Current Scooter "To Do" List

The list may change, but this is what we are learning abou now.

  • We need a new vehicle and lift system for the Triad CSX. This is what we are doing on a temporary basis. Pet ramps. We chose this because we can donate to an animal shelter when we are done.
  • We need to break the bringing the Triad CSX on an airplane barrier.
  • We need to figure out how to take the Triad CSX on a cruise ship. 
  • We need to figure out the best way to use the Triad on a buffet line.
  • We need to find the ultimate seat.
  • We would like to explore other accessories to up the "cool factor" of the scooter.

Feel free to chime in with any suggestions!

Specify Alternate Text

A Little Bit About Us

My husband has hereditary spastic paraplegia or HSP for short. Hereditary spastic paraplegia is a general term for a group of rare inherited disorders that cause weakness and stiffness in the leg muscles. Symptoms gradually get worse over time. My husband has never been officially diagnosed, although 2 of his 10 uncles had the disease. He started getting it in his early 30's. Even though he doesn't look it with his pictures plastered all over the website, he is now 54. I jokingly tell him that he is Dorian Gray without the evilness, but there has to be some picture aging somewhere when he isn't!

We just purchased a Triad 750 CSX in May, and it has made such a difference in our lives that I wanted the world to know about it. I have been a web Product Manager for many years so building a website seemed to make the most sense. I told my husband he could be the model spokesperson for the scooter, and he has taken that responsibility seriously. When asked about the name choices for the website, he said, "I don't know. You are the computer genius. I just have to keep putting on the men facial products so I can look 34 instead of 54." However, he still has room for improvement in the spokesmodel department. I tell him that he has to smile more because every picture can't just be the "strong, silent, sexy" type look.

The website is an experiment, and I'm sure it will change over time, but we would love to hear about others experiences with scooters and other devices. Right now, I've chosen Disqus for comments so you will have to make an account to join in. Although, you can always contact us via the form to give us input as well.

Thanks for visiting and spending time with us.