Bann Wheelers on their bike for a great cause

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On Sunday 11 March, a large contingent from the Bann Wheelers were joined by cyclists from Ballymoney, Ballycastle and Dunloy CCs in a cycle to raise funds for Coleraine Blind Centre’s Tandem Club.

There were two routes, one of approximately 50 miles and an even more challenging 70 miler that took the riders over the lung-busting Orra, near Glenarm. It was an eventful day, complete with climbs, craic and a busy broom wagon!

Bann Wheelers’ chairman Robert Downes voiced his appreciation for the large turnout when he addressed the participating cyclists during the tea and scones ‘after –party’ in the Sperrin Club, which was kindly provided by Coleraine Blind Centre.

The cycle was organised by the Bann Wheelers as a fundraiser for the Blind Centre Tandem Club’s trip to Portugal in June, where blind and partially sighted cyclists will, with the help of their tandem partners, cycle 150 miles.

Robert thanked the cyclists and friends of the Wheelers and the Blind Centre who donated, in total, an extremely generous £660. This money will be a huge help to the Portugal 2012 project and is very much appreciated by all involved.

Thanks were also given to Bann Wheeler, Ashley Moore, who, along with the pedal power of tandem regular, Richard, contributed to the total amount collected by taking part in a sponsored turbo training session in the foyer of ASDA on Saturday 10 March.

There were a few quiet tears (nothing to do with the cramp) when Tandem Club member, Stephanie, stepped up to say a few words about how much cycling on the tandems has added to the quality and enjoyment of her life and that of the other blind and partially sighted members.

It truly is a cause worth supporting and once again, a huge thank you goes out to everybody involved in Sunday’s cycle.

With excellent ambassadors such as Stephanie singing the praises of the Tandem Club, an increasing number of Blind Centre members are keen to get their cycling shoes on. However, this is only possible with the continued help of volunteer tandem riders, so if any Bann Wheelers would be interested in giving a little of their time, for example, one evening per month, to this worthy cause, there will be an open night on Thursday 22 March at 7pm at the Blind Centre in Abbey Street, where those interested can take part in tandem training, with an opportunity to warm up the legs with a tandem turbo training session at 6.30pm.

Any enquiries, please call 02870320333. All are welcome. And as for Portugal - to quote Stephanie - ‘Bring it on!’