Paralympics 2012 – The Snake trike makes an appearance

Ellie Simmonds saying hello and wants a go on the trike
paralympics 2012 hank on the Snake Trike with Laslo on the back
The Snake Trike, about to go on stage at the London 2012 Paralympics

Well what a time Hank has had over the last 5 days!

About a month ago he had a call out of the blue asking if he would hire the Diamond Backed Trike for the Paralymics Closing Ceremony on 9th September 2012.


It was an honour to be asked and of course the answer was yes. Hank and the team at Trike Design do a lot of work for many bikers with a disability working closely with NABD (National Association of Bikers with a Disability) and supporting their shows during the year. The Paralymics seemed the obvious choice of events for him to do and a chance to showcase trikes to a worldwide audience.


Initially they just wanted the trike, but when Hank arrived for rehearsals at Dagenham last Wednesday, they were so impressed with the trike that the ideas were flowing and they asked Hank to ride it into the stadium with Laslo on the back riding it like a chariot – which was hard to balance with one hand holding the reigns and a flare in the other hand.


Laslo has over 35 years in the business and it was great to work with such a professional – a world famous wire walker who did the hire wire at the Olympic Ceremony across the room of the stadium. After only a few test runs it was off to the stadium.


On Sunday there was one dry run whilst Coldplay did not only their sound check but played most of the playlist in the afternoon and the sun was shining ! Lots of waiting back stage watching all the amazing artists do what they do best.


Sunday evening arrives and we were lucky enough to be at the entrance where all the 7000 athletes enter the stadium. Many of them delayed their entrance to take photo’s of the trike and couldn’t believe it. With all the athletes in it was time to change into the costume ( a boiler suit and goggles no less!) Stage manager will give a 5 minute get ready signal so it’s a nervous wait in the wings.


Laslo limbers up ,as once he jumps off the trike, he hops onto his motorbike on the zip wire which he rides to the roof and then does a hand stand over the handlebars and then reverses whilst still updside down!! With the trike in position and revving we have to wait for Coldplay to start the track to ride into – the ticker tape snow comes down , the flare is light and its off! All goes to plan – Hank even managed to wave to the crowd and the camera’s.


What an awesome and massive event to be part of and thanks to everyone who made it a fantastic show – it was truly the greatest show on earth!!! –

There are more photos on Facebook here