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Over last winter Cycling UK launched an initiative to take blind and partially sighted people out cycling on tandems. For our area four of us accepted the challenge and started the ball rolling in early spring.

I contacted Vision Norfolk on the North Lynn Estate and they were delighted to help. They are a charity and one of their aims is to organise different activities to help blind and partially sighted local people do the sort of things normally sighted people can do. They offer diverse activities stretching from a choir to archery!

Penny and Sophie of Vision Norfolk, latterly assisted by Abbi, have done an excellent job of contacting our potential “stokers”, as rear seat tandem riders are called. They also organise transportation for them and offered us a venue to meet. By late spring our “pilots”, myself, Colin Elston, Michael Jay and Colin Plaskett, were ready to go. Colin E. has a tandem and Ann Garner kindly loaned us hers.

Since June we have generally offered two rides a week each with two tandems. We currently have eight stokers and are slowly building up our rides. Colin P. drove to Cambridge to collect another, donated, tandem and has worked hard to get it to riding condition.

Reactions from our stokers have been very enthusiastic as we are offering them experiences they thought were not available. The programme ran until the end of September, stopping for the winter and hopefully starting again in the spring.