Man Completes 3,000-Mile Wheelchair Trip

He had to change tires 11 times and once fell to the ground and spent the night in a ditch, but 65-year-old Russian Vladimir Ksenchak rolled undaunted into Madrid on Tuesday at the end of a 3,000-mile wheelchair trip.

Ksenchak left Moscow on June 11 and made his way through Russia, Belarus, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and France before reaching Spain. He said the journey was intended to inspire the disabled and denounce illegal drug use. Ksenchak lost a leg to circulatory problems eight years ago.

His adventure was a one-man campaign he dubbed “Russia-Europe: Without Drugs” and aimed at discouraging young people from using illegal drugs. He told a new conference in Madrid he had also made the journey “to lend moral and spiritual support to all disabled people and help them to keep their spirits up.”

He said people along his route had given him food, drink and lodging. It was near the Spanish capital that he suffered one of three falls from the wheelchair and was forced to spend the night in a ditch.

“The easiest part was up until Luxembourg. Then the route was more complicated, and the hardest part was between San Sebastian and Madrid because of the hills,” Ksenchak said.

He said his original goal had been to go to Lisbon, Portugal. He said he stopped in Madrid because his wheelchair gave out.