blog entries

On a bicycle made for two

There’s a lad in our village whose Dad used to race a bit. Sam, his name is. He’s thirteen. A really nice kid, who’s a B2 Low Partial - B1 being totally blind. Not sure that B2's a whole lot better but he tries hard not to let it inhibit him. He’s more active than most kids his age, brighter, hungrier for knowledge and life experience. We borrowed this old Claude Butler tandem from Charlottes Tandems in a frame size so large that Sam has to tape wooden blocks on the pedals just so he can reach them. He rides stoker as we take him for rides around the neighbouring villages, 20 or 30km at a time. Sitting at the back where he cant see what’s coming seems to suit him. He couldn’t see what was coming, even with a clear view. Sam likes to go fast, which is a challenge on a machine weighing 50kg or so until we hit the downhills.Then you'd better beware if you're foolish enough to be infront of us and Sam stomps on the pedals until we reach what he calls 'ramming speed!  We take it in turns riding captain, the rest of us outriders, checking junctions and stopping traffic so that the giant behemoth with its supertanker turning circle never need slow or stop. We kid ourselves that we do it for Sam, for the Duke of Edinburgh certificate that we’ll fill in for him when we’ve logged enough hours, for the feeling of doing something kind and good in a world where there’s not enough of that. But in truth that’s not the reason at all. We do it because we love being on our bikes, because we take every chance to share what we love with others whether they’re thirteen and partially sighted or not. Sam’s great company and he’s starting to really love his cycling. What could be better than that?