We are looking for new visually impaired and sighted riders. We will give you training and a chance to find out if it is right for you. Membership is free but we ask that all our riders join Cycling UK (either as full members or as affiliate members). This provides you with an excellent level of insurance. If you would like to join, contact us.
Visually impaired riders
We will ask you to come to either an evening or weekend short session with one of our more experienced pilots (front riders), to get a feel for riding tandem and to set the bike up for you. This may be about 10 miles or 45 minutes of riding. If everything goes well, then we’ll add you to the next rota for one of the easier rides. When you are ready, we can put you on the rota for some of the more challenging rides.
If this is your first time on a tandem, we can work with you to improve your confidence and fitness, until you feel ready to join the main rota.
We will ask you to come to either an evening or weekend short session with one of our more experienced pilots (front riders), to get a feel for riding tandem and to set the bike up for you. This may be about 10 miles or 45 minutes of riding. You will be the pilot, with control of steering, brakes and gears. Your stoker will give you instruction as you ride.
The main differences between riding tandem and ‘solo’ are:
- you cannot ‘throw’ a tandem around potholes etc. – anticipation is vital
- you cannot ride out of the saddle on a tandem
- acceleration and braking are both slower but top speed on the flat and downhill is faster
Once our stoker feels you are ready, you can join the rota, riding a full Sunday ride with a sighted stoker at first. Then you will ride with a very experienced visually impaired stoker and once they feel confident about riding with you, you will be added to the main rota.
We encourage all our riders to use SPD type shoes. If you are new to cycling, then we recommend starting with stiff soled trainers. Cycle helmets are strongly recommended.
Most of our members wear cycling specific clothes, though some wear tracksuit bottoms and sweatshirts. It is very important that clothing is not loose – this can get caught in the moving parts of the bike and flaps in the wind (which slows you down and is noisy).
Club tops which we encourage members to wear – are heavily subsidised by the club.