Pilot a sense of freedom

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“I, and other stokers really appreciate the generosity of our pilots giving their time and energy to enable us to cycle, which is a real passion for some of us.”

This Sunday May 15, Pedal Power ACT’s Fitability will be conducting a free come and try afternoon where participants can trial piloting a tandem bike at the National Archives of Australia off Queen Victoria Terrace from 2 to 4 pm.

Fitability, a tandem cycling program, is powered by offering support to vision impaired individuals as well as people affected by other disabilities. The reality is, Fitability are running low on pilots, and unfortunately this means there are some individuals who are keen to be active on a bike for recreational purposes but are unable to.

The purpose of the come and try afternoon is to help people discover whether they have a passion for piloting (the front rider) a tandem bike, and offering a person with a visual impairment the opportunity to cycle with someone. There are currently visually impaired individuals who are looking for someone to ride with socially, and competitively.

Emma Lea Sheather, a visually impaired stoker (the rear rider on a tandem), is one person who has benefited from the service provided by Fitability.

“I was born with a severe visual impairment and it has worsened over the years,” said Emma.

“I had ridden as a teenager and young adult (when my sight was better) and really missed the joy and sense of freedom that riding gave me – not to mention the fitness benefits.”

Emma would recommend anyone to try piloting a tandem.

“I’d recommend it because it gives a person with a disability the sense of freedom and enjoyment that is part of cycling. To come and meet fellow cyclists, make new friends, increase your fitness and get involved in your community. It is a fantastic way to give to others who just can’t cycle without your skills and assistance.”

No matter what interest you have, whether it is road riding, social riding or even racing – if you are confident on your bike and open to trying a tandem then Fitability’s trial afternoon is for you.

There will be 9 tandems and 11 pilots and stokers available to assist with a participant’s experience. The only thing a participant needs to bring is their own helmet and a willingness to give something new a try.

The afternoon is free to attend, however to assist the team with the amount of equipment to bring along, please register your interest by email to office@pedalpower.org.au.


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