Currently living in Melbourne, Alex Welsh works for wheelchair equipment company, Push Mobility. He grew up in a small country town called Leongatha and started racing motocross when he was 5 years old. A training accident at 17 resulted in a spinal cord injury and he was left with no feeling and movement from the chest down. After 4 months in rehab he went home to explore the possibilities of his new life. It took a long time for Alex to adjust to the wheelchair but he found a new passion for sport through go karts and then cycling, making things easier. He spends a lot of time training to become the best he possibly can be at handcycling and has had some really good results here in Australia and overseas.
Tell us about a great Australian adventure? I really enjoy a road trip up to the Victorian and NSW alpine regions in late spring or summer, it’s just so quiet and remote with beautiful scenery and great for my cycling training too. I have been a few times for skiing in the winter but I’m not a big fan of the cold. I also try to find any excuse I can to get to Perth and/or Cairns.
What do you love most about travelling? I love seeing new places, experiencing different culture, escaping to a warmer climate and meeting all different people
What do you find most frustrating about travel? Finding hotels that are accessible can sometimes be tricky especially when travelling overseas and just general wheelchair access in new places.
How do you plan your trips away? I do research online and then make phone calls to gain more information. I also reach out to friends or people to I know that have been to the same place before. Talking to people is always the best way to find out what you need to know and if you can gain written confirmation too it’s helpful. Booking a car with hand controls can be difficult so I always take a backup portable set with me.
What tips do you have for other wheelchair travellers? Make phone calls before you go anywhere new, prepare for things not to be perfect and be patient.
Where is your favourite place to take visitors in Victoria? I love showing people around my home town of Korumburra in South Gippsland as it’s an awesome place which is also within about an hour of Phillip Island and Wilsons Prom which are cool to see.
Where is your next race? I’ll be doing about 15 local club races before the end of the year and then I have nationals in Ballarat on the 5th and 7th of January 2019
What’s on the bucket list? Before the end of the year I might fly west and see a friend in Perth, I’ll hopefully see my sister in Jindabyne (NSW alpine region) in October and I’ll probably have at least 1 trip to Brisbane for work too. Next year I’m hoping to head back to Europe in sometime between May and August. A trip to Adelaide to see the Good Scout crew is on the cards too 🙂