If you’re going to compete in any sport, there’s one thing you have to do: train. When it comes to being blind and a para-cyclist, things can get a little more tricky. Trying to coordinate a pilot and stoker so they can find time to ride together between family and work commitments is tricky.
If you’re following Tandem Armidale on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook or Google Plus, you’ll tend to see when we get out on the tandem, often at lunch and on weekends. The rest of my training is done solo, but how does that work for someone who only has light perception?
As we wrote previously, Tandem Armidale is now the proud owner of a new racing Duratec tandem. After some trouble with transport (notably a trip from Brisbane to Sydney where the bike should have been dropped off on the way through, but wasn’t), the bike has been delivered, reassembled and ridden.
I was in a strange city, walking up the footpath, trailing along the shop fronts with my cane. My concentration was broken when she said my name as she passed.
It was the only time I ever met Stella in person. I’d been sent to Melbourne for a training workshop, and we’d managed to schedule a dinner with her and a couple of other mutual friends.
We walked back up the road to our dinner, me holding the back of her chair, letting her guide me through the unfamiliar territory.
I’ve not often been out with wheelchair users, so I felt that two wheelchairs, a short statured man and a blind cane user may have generated a stare or two that night. Honestly none of us could have cared less.
So maybe I’m being a big Star Trek nerd right here, but I couldn’t resist using the title.
After eight months of fund-raising we have still only made it a third of the way to our target for a new tandem. But it’s not all bad news. The funds we do have have netted us something after all…
You can now show your support for Tandem Armidale by purchasing a Tandem Armidale T-Shirt from our Spreadshirt Shop.
Buying a T-Shirt will give us $5.50 of the purchase price, and it will show us off when you wear it. Use the code VAMPIRE14 to get free standard shipping if you spend over $30.
You can follow the link above, or check below for some quick ordering options. We’ve kept options limited, with basic Men’s, Women’s and Kid’s T-Shirts. If you’re keen for something else, let us know, see about adding it.
As I mentioned last post I’ve been pretty sick over the past few months, but finally things are starting to look up.
OK, it’s not as bad as that, really. But I have spent the better part of three months being sick. I was recalling, over the weekend, Matt de Neef‘s (of theclimbingcyclist.com and cyclingtips.com) story last year where he wasn’t doing well for about three months. In his case his cause wasn’t obvious, for me though the cause is clear. I’ve had a flu for almost three months now, and frankly it’s gotten old.
Last week Andrew spoke at the Austin College Sporties Dinner. The response from the college has been great, and we hope to keep this relationship going.
At special dinners such as last week, and other formal dinners, the residents of the college provide donations to charity, in this case Tandem Armidale.
A big thanks to Austin for having Andrew come and speak and for a $500 donation to the cause!
On the 10th September I made a speech to the annual Sporties Dinner at Austin College, UNE.
As a blind person, when speaking in public, I tend to write myself a speech and then memorize it in segments. This isn’t word for word what I said, but it is what I wrote for myself to say.
Additionally, I’ve provided links to a number of external resources for those interested in further information.
Firstly we’d like to thank New England Mutual for their $250 sponsorship of Tandem Armidale.
The contribution come as part of New England Mutual’s annual Community Support sponsorship program.