As I've mentioned in earlier posts, I have riddent a tandem twice in my life. Both times, I was the "captain" or "pilot": That is to say, I was in front.
On my first tandem ride, my "stoker" was a blind woman. She wanted to ride with a group that, at that time, toured various ethnic neighborhoods in New York to sample their foods and restaurants. The Light House called the group with that request, and I volunteered to pilot a bike Light House supplied.
I soon realized that she needed a tourguide as much as she needed someone to steer the bike. She was blind from birth, so she had no idea of what, say, a terra cotta-hued cornice looked like. Unfortunately, perhaps, for her, I was (at least at that point in my life) better at spinning wheels than at spinning narratives.
Someone named Lynette Nixon also piloted a tandem for a blind (or, at least, visually impaired) cyclist. That is about where the similarities between her experience and mine end.
I don't think Ms. Nixon was as much of a tourguide as I was. You see, she and her stoker Lyn Lepore were riding on a velodrome--in Sydney, Australia to be exact. They won the silver medal in the women's 1km time trial event of the 2000 Paralympics. Their compatriots, Sarnya Parker and Tania Modra, took the gold in their home country.
|L-to-R: Silver medalist tandem duo Lyn Lepore and Lynette Nixon with Gold medalists Sarnya Parker and Tania Modra at the 2000 Paralympic Games.|
Nixon and Lepore also accomplished something else I never will: They may have been the only tandem whose first names were "Lyn". I would have loved to hear the crowd cheering for them: Lyn! Lyn!
(Hearing such a chant but not seeing them might lead someone to think they were Chinese. )