Kamloops man uses disability to fuel passion for speed - InfoNews

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Kamloops man uses disability to fuel passion for speed

Tyler Tingle is pictured with a sled he used to drag race with. He is pictured here in 2013 at a race in Edmonton.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/ Cindy Begg
July 09, 2019 - 6:00 AM

KAMLOOPS — A Kamloops man who became a paraplegic nearly 30 years ago fuels his need for speed by modifying all sorts of road and recreational vehicles in his backyard.  

Three weeks before his 20th birthday, Tyler Tingle got in a car with three other friends. Everyone was heavily intoxicated — including the driver.

It was a decision that changed his life forever. At 19 years of age, he had suffered a spinal cord injury that would leave him in a wheelchair for the rest of his life.

He can still recall the details of the accident. He remembers exactly how he felt when he woke up in a hospital bed realizing he couldn’t move. He remembers being told his best friend — who was the driver— had been killed.

“We made stupid choices that got ourselves into that situation and the way it affected my family and my friends that was the hardest thing for me to deal with,” he says.

“Still today, it bugs me.”

Tyler Tingle is seen working on his Spyder bike at his home in Westsyde. He modified the foot brakes into hand controls and added a wheelchair rack.
Tyler Tingle is seen working on his Spyder bike at his home in Westsyde. He modified the foot brakes into hand controls and added a wheelchair rack.

Despite being left in a wheelchair, Tingle doesn’t let his disability define him or prevent him from doing what he loves. He considers himself lucky to be to have survived the crash and shares his story with others to help prevent other accidents from taking place. 

“You get to choose what you are going to do with your situation and that goes for anybody in anything,” he says. “I could be all upset and pissed off… but that’s not going to change a damn thing.”

After his accident, Tingle began to adjust to life in a wheelchair and found a passion through racing. He took part in the drag races at the Ashcroft track for more than 20 years before it closed in 2015.

Now, he spends his days altering all sorts of vehicles from cars to snowmobiles to either or race or just for pleasure. He’s currently doing some work on his Spyder, something he is able to ride as a paraplegic. He modifies the foot brakes into hand controls and is also adding a wheelchair rack.

“It’s kind of like a motorbike but because it has two front wheels it’s very stable,” he says. “The handbrake is something you can buy but the rack for the wheelchair, I don’t know any way you can go buy this.”

Tingle also transforms snowmobiles into sleds you can race on asphalt. He does this by replacing the original tracks with a smooth track suitable for racing on pavement.

He began racing sleds and altering them himself so he could go faster. The engine on the last sled he raced had 650-horsepower. 

“To put that in perspective the last snowmobile I raced is faster than a car,” he says. “My last sled could do a quarter-mile in 9.94 seconds”

Because he had eased himself into it over the years, travelling at that high of speed wasn’t a huge shock.

“You always want to go faster, it’s addictive. Totally addictive,” he says.

His racing has taken him all over Canada and the U.S. but primarily he spent his time racing in Ashcroft. 

Although Tingle is still haunted by the memories of the fatal accident, he’s never let it hold him back.

“I am not more paranoid than before.”

To check out more of his work, visit his Instagram page by clicking here. 


To contact a reporter for this story, email Karen Edwards or call (250) 819-3723 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2019
InfoTel News Ltd

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