Turning Pedals and not Moving

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?

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Updates: NPS, Training and a New Teammate

Yes, it’s been a bit quiet on the Tandem Armidale blog, but things have been happening behind the scenes.

Firstly our big news is, despite being unable to make the Para-Cycling Road Nationals, we won the 2014 NPS for B Classification. Needless to say we’re really thrilled that things fell in our favour that way, after being able to make the last event.

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About This Stoker (Part 2)

I’ve already outlined in a previous post my primary diagnosis of my blindness. As part of the classification process as a para-cyclist I’ve had to get an extensive history from my doctors. This has lead to me being reminded of some other things I didn’t mention last time, and my discovery of problems I didn’t know I had.

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About this Stoker

Some readers will know me already from posts on Media Access Australia, ABC Ramp Up and Twitter. Others of you who read this because you’ll see the post via Facebook or otherwise because we’ve been friends. Some readers won’t know me at all. I thought it was time to present a little about my vision impairment. For those who don’t know me, hopefully it will be informative. For those I’ve not had face-to-face time with recently, it’ll be a bit of an update

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February’s Challenge

Through January and February 2014 Katherine, Natalie and Patricia will be riding around New South Wales to raise funds for Guide Dogs NSW/ACT.

Riding For Indpendence LogoI’ve known Katherine for a few years now, she rides with Exsight Tandems in Sydney and Wollongong, and even took my place on the Management Committee when I moved back to Armidale.

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The Intentional Stoker

How did I become a stoker? In contrast to Dave’s experience, unsurprisingly, my becoming a stoker was fairly intentional.

I’d tried some tandem cycling in my mid 20’s, and indeed got to buying my own tandem (a basic Apollo) in my mid to late 20s. My issue at the time (I was living in Armidale then too) was finding people to captain.

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So Why Tandem?

Given this is a restart of an old Blog, now lost to the death of Posterous, I thought I’d start with a basic question. Why do I ride a tandem?

On one level the answer is quite simple: because I’m blind, I can’t ride by myself, so if I want to ride a tandem is my only option. But really, this isn’t a very satisfactory answer, at least for some people. If I can’t see, what do I get out of jumping on a bike behind someone and peddling?
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