Trail Building Tips

Innovations in adaptive equipment that can be used on trails are improving, which is creating more opportunity for people with disabilities to get out and ride. Thing is, the equipment is only part of the equation. Here are some things to keep in mind for trail design:

Trail/Tread Width

Wide (36″) will accommodate most offroad handcycles. Singletrack (12-36″) is often do-able IF the region immediately off the trail is at the same elevation without major obstacles.

Running Slope

Offroad handcycles can manage steep slopes (do-able: 30º, safe: ≤ 20º)

Steep slopes are hazardous for wheelchairs without adequate brakes (safe: ≤ 8º, ideal: ≤ 5º)

Cross Slope

This is the biggest issue for most adaptive equipment. Unlike two-wheel bicycles, adaptive off-road handcycles (ORHCs) are trikes, and off-camber sections of trails can cause an ORHC to tip over.

Significant hazard for adaptive equipment (tipping point: ≥ 30º)

Rider’s balance must be considered (safe: 5º)

As close to level is ideal for greatest usability

Turning Radius

Meeting/Passing Zones

Flow Design

Intangibles