Becasine: The Backstory

 

David Enthoven is industrial designer and has been running marathons and trails for over 20 years. Florence Dauphin is a physial education teacher and caregiver for autistic kids in a specialized institution. Both have run marathon races and trails together.

In 2013, Florence thougt about running the 20K of Brussels - along with some of her pupils who use wheelchairs. She managed to recruit colleagues and friends to push and pull. David offered to build a special wheelchair for this purpose, which became the Becasine.

The first Becasine prototype was made of plywood and tested locally. A second lighter model was built after.                       Both Becasines ran the 20K of Brussels in May 2015. The first one finished in 1 hour 40 minutes, and the second one crossed the line in 2 hours and 30 minutes.   It was a marvelous day for the kids, their mothers, and the runners.

But such an experience merits a bit more detail. In fact, David and Florence had to push and pull the Becasine over numerous roads and country-sides to optimize the stability, weight, mechanical resistance and, of course, its comfort for the passenger. Ultimately, a new frame was designed in aluminum. The wheels were slightly tilted for more stability. The arms were tested in a laboratory and converted to plain ash, instead of plywood.

Becasines are now produced on an industrial basis in different specialized factories, including three Adapted Work Centers.

By mid-2020, 160 Bcasines were rolling in Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Luxemburg, Italy, Germany.

They make people happy.