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Riders saddle up at tandem cycling taster

Visually impaired residents in Fenland can now enjoy biking without boundaries thanks to the launch of a tandem cycling project.

Tandem cycling

Following the success of the project in Cambridge, Sight loss charity Cam Sight is rolling it out across the district with support from Fenland District Council's Active Fenland team.

The first tandem cycling taster session was held in March on Saturday, April 28, when three people with low vision and blindness took to the road, riding in tandem with trained volunteer 'pilots' from Chatteris Cycling Club.

Cam Sight's Community Volunteer Support Co-Ordinator Samantha Wool, who organised the event, said: "The taster was a great success, enabling people living in Fenland with low vision and blindness to enjoy a bike ride with assistance from trained pilots. It was also a great opportunity to raise awareness of the project and we have since been contacted by a number of people keen to get involved."

The project aims to provide opportunities for blind and visually impaired people to improve their health and fitness, as well as confidence with getting out and about.

Ms Wool said: "Not only will people gain increased health and physical fitness but they will also grow in confidence and self-esteem, enjoy the sense of achievement and the social interaction with volunteers and other visually impaired cyclists."

Cllr Mark Buckton, Fenland District Council's Portfolio for Leisure, who had a go at tandem cycling during the taster session, said: "I think this is a fantastic initiative from Cam Sight that will not only enable visually impaired people to enjoy something that the rest of us take for granted, but also has the real potential to change people's lives.

"I'd also like to thank the trained pilots from Chatteris Cycling Club; they were excellent and made the riders feel safe and at ease."

Anyone wishing to take part in the tandem cycling project, or any other activities through Cam Sight, can contact Samantha Wool on 07498 505687 or email: sam@camsight.org.uk

The charity is also looking for volunteers to get involved with the project, and others, such as its befriending scheme, which provides friendship and support to those with low vision at their home or out in the community.

Article added: May 4, 2018