Sheffield woman goes off-road for new lease of life

Marie Webster - disabled following a serious cycling accident - on her mobility scooter
Marie Webster - disabled following a serious cycling accident - on her mobility scooter
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Marie Webster’s a true off-roader now!

When the cycling fan from Sheffield suffered serious injuries crashing her bike into a drystone wall, she was forced to rebuild her life and give up her favourite pastimes.

But now the 57-year-old is reliving her passion for riding by getting behind the wheel of a tough new mobility scooter.

The mobility aid - the 4x4 of the scooter world - is able to travel over rugged terrain such as fields and tracks in the countryside, which meant it was perfect for Marie to use while watching the Tour de France pass near her home in rural Worrall.

Marie was a keen mountain biker and horse rider until her accident.

The brakes on her bicycle failed as she descended a steep hill in the Rivelin Valley, and the crash caused her multiple injuries including a fractured skull and spine, crushed vertebrae and broken bones in her face.

She spent five months recovering in hospital following the accident in 1992, and has struggled to walk ever since, as well as suffering painful fibromyalgia.

Marie, who previously worked in retail, retrained as a civil servant, allowing her to spend less time standing up.

But getting out and about remained a problem until she discovered the TGA Breeze scooter.

The mobility scooter won an ‘extreme challenge’ on the BBC’s Top Gear programme two years ago, being successfully driven to the top of a rugged hillside.

It also set a world record by being driven 192 miles in 24 hours in May.

Marie said: “My love of cycling and the outdoors will never falter. Having the ability to go and watch the Tour de France was so exciting. Seeing the riders was superb.

“Being mobile again can make a big difference.”

She added that the scooter has also proved popular with her two dogs - Ben, a 17-year-old Yorkshire Terrier, and Tashi, a Lhasa Apso - who enjoy jumping on the footplate for a ride.