British Columbia Blind Sports and Recreation Association

BCBSRA Tandem Cycling

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Tandem Cycling

Have you ever dreamed of having the wind in your hair and bugs in your teeth? Careening down a hill at escape velocity speeds? Sure we all have! Tandem cycling combines a phenomenal sense of freedom with sheer excitement - add to that the benefit of regular exercise and you begin to understand why tandem cycling is one of North America’s fastest growing sports.

Tandem cycling is a team sport that everybody can enjoy, from the very young to the very old and everyone in between.

The first step in joining the tandem cycling program is to find two reliable "pilots" or "captains". This is the person who will pilot the bike (front seat rider) and is in control of the brakes and all of the 21 gears. A helpful hint is to find a pilot who is heavier then you; this makes piloting a pleasant and much safer ordeal along with making the bike much more maneuverable.

The pilot should feel comfortable and confident on a single bike, not necessarily a seasoned racer, but should possess some bicycle skills.

Tandem cycling is a team sport; both you and your pilot must show patience the first few rides. This is a new sport to both of you.

Before you embark on any ride, remember, ALWAYS wear a helmet! Getting on a tandem bicycle should be done in a particular sequence. First, the pilot should straddle the bike, placing his/her feet some distance apart in order to balance the bike and your weight. Once the feet are in position, go ahead and climb aboard, feet on the ground not on the pedals.

The next step is to decide which pedal will be your "Push Off" pedal. If the right pedal is chosen, both your pilot and you should place the right foot on the pedal surface, hands gripping handlegrips.

At this point you are ready to count to three and launch off on your maiden tandem voyage. Be sure to choose a quiet area with little or no traffic. The first few minutes could feel a little shaky, until you and your pilot feel the bike out and begin to feel in control.

A key factor in a symbiotic sport is communication, the pilot needs to convey: turns, up/down shifts, bumps, obstacles and hills, as well as other peculiarities that might arise.

Stopping is very similar to starting. Between the pilot and the stoker decide what foot will come off the pedals first. Once you have determined a set side, stick with it!!

To learn more about tandem cycling and the various different events associated with cycling please call the BC Blind Sports Association and we will be glad to answer any questions you might have.

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British Columbia Blind Sports and Recreation Association

#170 - 5055 Joyce Street, Vancouver, BC V5R 6B2  Canada
Phone: 604 325-8638
Fax: 604-325-1638
Email: info@bcblindsports.bc.ca

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