Blog post by Loredana Dicsi, cyclist in tandem bikes.
I started riding tandem bikes (bikes with two places instead of one) in 2015 when I arrived in Belgium. I used to ride a special bike for persons with reduced mobilities when I was a kid, but when I came back to it as an adult I was afraid of riding alone, so I found this option.
The tandem bikes activity I attend is organised by an association for blind and partially sighted people. It pairs blind and partially sighted people with a sighted person.
I really enjoy tandem cycling: we pass through nice places, we feel the wind, we are in nature. We can talk with our tandem partners. It connects me and I make friends.
When doing tandem, you leave everything behind – your thoughts, your duties – and you take that time and dedicate it just to yourself and those around you. Being outside in nature, going down with speed on a hill, with speed, it feels so good!
My favourite moment was when “La Lumiere”, the association I do tandem with, celebrated its 100th anniversary. It was very nice to be with other clubs and to meet new people. Another favourite moment is when we do tandem weekends – often long weekends. On my first tandem long weekend, we biked more than 300 kilometres.
I also like that tandem bike is quite an inclusive sport, as it mixes sighted persons with blind and partially sighted persons. It allows us to ride where we like, something that is quite difficult to do alone due to traffic. It allows us to get in touch with sighted people and has a social aspect – the person in front gets to know how blind and partially sighted people are living, how to be more inclusive. The tandem also allows for blind and partially sighted to meet peers and share experiences.
I can only recommend trying tandem cycling – my advice is to trust the front rider and go for it!