Blind Cyclists Put Their Faith in a Tandem Rider

Blind Cyclists Put Their Faith in a Tandem Rider

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I have been watching the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland and I am so inspired by the tandem riders, I had to share it!

Apparently para-cycling has been introduced in this Commonwealth Games, and it involves tandem bike riders racing around the track at up to 60km/hr (about 37 mph). Picture a bike with two seats, the front taken by a ‘pilot’ and the back seat by a vision impaired cyclist who must put their trust in the pilot to act as their eyes on the track.

The trust between the two riders is so inspiring. The other morning I watched a tandem sprint with Australia and Scotland up against each other, the pairs each had to react quickly when the other pair made a move, it was so exciting. In the race I watched, it went to the third and final decider to award the medal.

The other thing that really motivated me to write this post was the fact that this race came on just after I watched able-bodied athletes compete. I love the integration of the athletes at the Commonwealth Games. Everyone came out together at the opening ceremony, all medals add up on the same tally.

Indeed it was at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne that the first athlete with a disability carried her country’s flag (Canadian Chantal Petitclerc) in the integrated opening ceremony. It gives me great hope for our world, improvements do happen.

Oh and if you must know, Scotland won.

(READ a related news report in the Australian)

Photo credit: Nottingham Trent University via CC license, British para-cycling coach, Chris Furber