For ‘Two’s Company’ project coordinator, Robin Lapworth, the start of the new year means it is time to plan ahead. Robin organises our fun days out riding tandem bicycles for visually impaired people. The project relies on a team of dedicated volunteers giving up their time to pilot the tandems – working together with the visually impaired ‘back riders’ to explore the countryside in and around Bristol.
Each year, during January and February, Robin recruits new volunteers to deal with the ever-increasing demand for our popular programme of group rides. We caught up with some of Two’s Company’s volunteers (all names changed), to find out why they love coming out on our tandem adventures…
“I love having the chance to mix with some very interesting people both front riders and back riders. There is never a dull moment!” – Mike
Any adult who is confident on a regular bicycle can sign up – no previous tandem experience is required. All our volunteers go through our full induction process – giving them all the skills and confidence they need to become part of our supportive team. This includes visual impairment awareness and tandem training.
“I can advise anyone considering signing up to try it. Everyone's very friendly, the rides are well organised and you’ll be offered training and support. The rides are not strenuous as they always include plenty of breaks. Don't worry about the tandems! They're easy to learn if know how to ride a normal bike” - Amira
Our volunteers get so much satisfaction from giving the gift of cycling to those who cannot ride a bike independently:
“Two’s Company enables visually impaired riders to gain independence and confidence in a safe and enjoyable setting. Everyone feels welcome and has a voice. There is no hierarchy so the atmosphere is always friendly, supportive and encouraging” - Catherine
And of course, our volunteers own lives have been enriched since joining the Two’s Company family – by making new friends, discovering new places and learning a new skill:
“As a volunteer, I have made lots of new friends and every ride has been a wonderful way to explore the local area, enjoy some great lunches and have lots of fun – either through serious debate or lots of laughs! Anyone tempted to give it a go, don’t be shy – I promise you’ll absolutely love it or I’ll eat my cycling helmet!” – Mark
You can support Two's Company by making a donation (either one-off or regular). No matter how big or small, every penny goes towards transforming lives through cycling. Make a donation now.