Tandem Rider Profiles

Tandem Rider Profiles

Griff’s story (stoker)

Hi. I was born with a condition that means I am blind.

I went on my first tandem bike ride when I about 11 and I loved it. I got my own tandem for Christmas a few years ago and ride it with a friend, Dad or Grandfather regularly.

The thing I most enjoy riding is feeling of the wind in my face as we speed down the hills and the worst part is going up the hills. It was fun overtaking the girls on their tandem on the way up Mount “Un-Pleasant” on my first long ride.

Tandem riding is an activity where being vision impaired is not relevant. I would like to thank the Fitability team for supporting me and offering me such opportunities! 

Rosemary’s story (Pilot)

I’ve been involved with Fitability since 2006, mainly riding as a pilot and organising.

I like community rides and races. I’ve ridden a tandem from Cairns to Melbourne, Gold Coast to Sydney and Canberra to Newcastle, all for different causes with different stokers.

It’s been great to see a couple of my vision-impaired friends go all the way from their first tandem ride to winning medals at the Commonwealth Games.

Riding a tandem is as easy or as challenging as you want it to be. It’s all about communication with your riding partner.

Why not try it and see?

Ashley’s story (Pilot)

I first got into piloting because it seemed like a chance to use my powers of cycling for good instead of evil. Little did I know then that tandems would become a major part of my cycling life! Through them, I’ve had the chance to ride with elite para-cyclists as well as with people just looking to improve their fitness and experience the joy of cycling.

With family and work my life is pretty full, but I still find time to pilot for current Australian champion Don Mankewich a few times a week. It’s what I’d be doing anyhow but this way I get to help out a talented vision-impaired athlete while I pursue my own training goals. Riding and racing with Don and (occasionally) with multiple Paralympic medallist Lindy Hou, hasn’t always been easy, but it’s certainly been an amazing journey.

I’ve definitely improved as a cyclist and as a human being. In those moments when the big bike is humming and everything syncs between pilot and stoker, I sometimes feel that tandem racing has to be one of the best cycling experiences there is.