Paraplegic hits road on customized motorcycle

Published: June 15, 2010  |  Source: tallahassee.com
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Paul Bliss’ motto is “life after legs.” For Bliss, it’s a way of life.

A 2003 motorcycle wreck damaged Bliss’ spinal cord, robbing him of control over his legs. Now a paraplegic, the motorcycle enthusiast hit a dead-end until learning of Mobility Conquest, a dealership that has developed a motorcycle usable by wheelchair drivers.

“I didn’t let my accident stop me,” said Bliss, 52, who has been riding motorcycles for the last 37 years.

Dubbed “the Chariot,” the motorcycle is custom-built for Bliss’ wheelchair, which locks into place.

Shifting gears is as simple as a press of a button, and both brakes are integrated into a single mechanism. Bliss declined to comment on the motorcycle’s cost.
Driven by his passion, Bliss rides three to four times weekly.

“You inspire people when they see you doing something that’s out of the ordinary in a wheelchair,” Bliss said.

His determination amazes his friends.

“He’s a force that just doesn’t get stopped,” Joanne Frances said. “If he wants to do something, he gets it accomplished.”

Bliss, owner of Bliss Pool and Spa Designs Inc., has spoken with and inspired other paraplegics through the Spinal Cord Injury Peer Mentor Program.

“I realized that my gift was going to be in reaching out to others,” Bliss said. “If anything it’s made me a better person today than I was before my accident, more giving and more compassionate.”

By Christopher Kelley
Democrat Writer