A Tandem is a cycle made for two people.
It’s an old joke and a serious question this week in Mysore.
Remember the first time you rode a bicycyle? As a child you have no fear but when you’re older it can be scary.
The uncertainty …. Your nervousness, worry, hesitancy … once on the cycle your sweating, hands are clammy, the whole thing wobbling, feet slipping from the pedals,
Now imagine your first time, if you were blind…..
You’ve never seen a cycle, what does it look like? How do you get on and pedal?
We wondered if it was possible for a visually impaired person to cycle with our tandem.
On the ‘Manjula’s Gift fun day’ organised by Manjula’s Mysore and its partners, three young volunteers: Tusharr, Megha and Sarvesh from MYCycle Tours were there to guide. They provided clear instructions: explained how to get on, feel the saddle, hold the handlebars, step over the frame, find the pedals and sit comfortably. A sighted person on the front steered, set the pace and kept the balance. Another volunteer cycled along and explained what was happening.
“After 1-2-3 we’ll be off, 1-2-3 we’re turning a corner, 1-2-3 there’s a hump coming up. Now let’s freewheel down the hill.”
Now think back to your first time, when you’re cycling along, remember the breeze in your hair and a smile on your face. Was it like flying along?
We could tell from their oohs, aahs and boundless enthusiasm that for the young women who are visually impaired, it was a transformational experience.
We now know that someone who is visually impaired, with our caring support and their trust, can ride tandems.
It was part of a day of activities to entertain forty visually impaired young women who live at Divya Jyothi Trust in Mysore and celebrate our founder Manjula on her birth anniversary, organised by Manjula’s Mysore and their community partners.
The women had great fun, we also learned a lot: realising what strength, courage and confidence these young women need to face life’s challenges.
Further background information about the day and its partners visit: http://www.meandmycycle.com