Tag Archives: Tandem

100% adrenaline rush: Tandem cycling at the Velodrome!

Photo of Chris lewis and his pilot banking at the olympic Velodrome

Imagine being at the top of the banking at the Velodrome on a tandem!

The Olympic Velodrome in Stratford runs two-hour para sessions for disabled cyclists every other week on a Monday afternoon.  If you like experiencing something different whilst getting an unbelievable work out you should give it a go!

They provide pilots and the necessary kit although you can take your own helmet along. I have taken part in these a number of times over the last few years. It is nothing like riding my tandem out on the roads around London, I can assure you.

The first thing you notice is that you take a lift down into the bowels of the massive venue. You emerge into the middle of the track and you can hear a lot of echoing around the venue. The tandems themselves are ultra-lightweight carbon fibre. Nothing fancy, fixed wheels, no gears, racing saddle and drop handlebars. Oh, and yes, those cleats that clasp your special shoes to the pedals.

The staff are accustomed to helping everyone so don’t worry if you can’t get your feet into the cleats. But, be careful to listen to the instructions as getting started is a question of balance and listening to your pilot.

What is evident from the start is that the track creaks!

It is built of wooden panels on a slatted wooden frame that flexes with the weight of the cyclists. And, the most important feature, it is steeply banked, at quite an angle on the straights but severely on the ends.

 

Photo of Chris lewis and his pilot at the olympic Velodrome riding between the blue and red lines
The photo above is of Chris lewis and his pilot at the Olympic Velodrome, riding between the blue and red lines.

The lowest level is flat and solid just to give you a chance to get used to the motion. For those who can see, the photos show there are then a series of coloured lines going up the banking. If you have watched it on the telly you can see that it looks steep. After I had finished the session I asked the organiser if I could walk up and feel the banking.

Shoes removed, I walked up in my socks along the finishing straight. I got about halfway before I slid down. Socks off, I walked to the top. I was around 10 feet above my pilot who was standing in the middle! After that, we went to the end of the track. I couldn’t get even a couple of feet up the banking here as it is just so steep.

Once you cross the first line onto the actual track you can hear the boards crackle. The pilot gradually increases the pace until you are flat out. The circuit is only 250 metres in total so there is no real straight or bend, just continuous cycling! Bizarrely, you get buffeted a lot from the air.

Yes, it is inside but you are pushing against the air with nowhere for it to go so it causes buffeting. Going around the track at the lower level is pretty straightforward.

Obviously, you have got to be pushing in sync with the pilot but frankly, the pedals don’t allow you not to do so. Trying to do a number of laps flat out is lung-busting, to say the least. Then, with a little more confidence, the pilot takes you up the banking. This requires significantly more peddle power. At the top of the banking, there is a hiatus before you suddenly drop down at an amazing speed, pulling a few Gs, and swooping onto the bottom of the track is exhilarating!

And, once your ten or fifteen minutes of peddling is done you can’t just stop. There are no gears on the bike, nor breaks, so you just gradually slow down by not pedalling. Coming into the end is a test of accuracy from the pilot and then the joy of sitting down, deep breathing and gulping lots of water plus something energising to eat or drink before heading out again! Depending on how many other people are on the track you will get four sessions in the slot.

If you like cycling or just like doing different things, this is an amazing way to test out your fitness and fearlessness whilst also experiencing an Olympic venue!

The photos don’t do justice to the speeds you achieve nor the steepness of the banking but I can honestly say it is one of the best sporting activities I have ever done.

You can book online and ask for a tandem and a pilot.  Ask for Nicky!

 

by Chris Lewis    |  Twitter: @Chr1sLew1s

 

 

Olympic Velodrome event info below

The Olympic Velodrome in Stratford runs two-hour para sessions for disabled cyclists every other week on a Monday afternoon

Email: velopark@leevalleypark.org.uk |  Telephone:  03000 030 613  * we’re currently unable to answer telephone calls so please email us with any queries that you have.

Website: https://www.visitleevalley.org.uk/lee-valley-velopark

Address: Lee Valley VeloPark, Abercrombie Road, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London E20 3AB

 

Want to try  a free E-bike ride?

These Free Side-by-Side eBike Ride sessions are available every week!  Booking Required. Providing blind and partially sighted people with a safe and enjoyable opportunity to get out cycling across the city and its many green spaces.

Collect some shopping, visit a place of interest or just go for some exercise – the FREE service is a great new way for people to travel more accessibly around the city 

So please do get in contact if you want to attend sessions. We would love to welcome you along, please contact Nikki Ray from Bikeworks Nikki.Ray@bikeworks.org.uk 07833 757954

There will be two-time slots available on each of the days.

Weekdays session times:

  • Session 1 is from 9.30 am until 11 am,
  • Session 2 is from 11.30 am until 1 pm.

Weekend session times:

  • Session 1 is from 10 am 
  • Session 2 is from 12 pm

Next Cycling: Ride Side-by-Side events below

To book and for more info – Click the date you want below.

If you are keen to come along to one or more of the sessions, please contact Nikki Ray from Bikeworks Nikki.Ray@bikeworks.org.uk 07833 757954

 

 

Metro Blind Sports Social Networks

Get all the latest blind & partially sighted event information & news as soon as we do!

Metro Blind Sport:  Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Instagram   |  LinkedIn 

Metro Blind Sport membership:  more info or Join here

 

MSSC Events For November 2021

Merton Sport and Social Club logo on white

Merton Sports and Social Club Events for November!

CONTENTS:

1. NEXT MONTHLY PUB SOCIAL
2. SWIMMING
3. TANDEM CYCLING
4. WALKING
5. CANOEING
6. RNIB SMART SPEAKER GIVEAWAY
7. SOCIALLIGHT SUPPORT GROUP NOVEMBER MEETUP
8. MERTON VISION GRAND QUIZ EVENING
9. EYE MATTER PEER SUPPORT GROUP
10.METRO BLIND SPORT
11.DATES FOR YOUR DIARY

 

1. NEXT MONTHLY PUB SOCIAL – TUESDAY 2ND NOVEMBER

We are delighted that Ganley’s Irish Bar in Morden is proving to be an excellent venue for our monthly club social, which we will continue to hold on the first Tuesday evening of each month.

We had another good turnout on Tuesday 5th October and again had exclusive use of a side room. The friendly bar staff looked after us very well, kindly taking orders and payments at the table.

Please join us for our next social from 7.30 pm on Tuesday 2nd November at Ganley’s, 43-47 London Road, Morden SM4 5HP. It is about two minutes’ walk from Morden Underground Station, which is at the southern end of the Northern Line. Let us know if you would like someone to meet you at the station or at a bus stop to guide you to the pub, which is just across the road from the station. If you arrive on your own, once you have entered the pub, turn right and you will find the MSSC crowd in a side room.

Please note, if you wish to have a meal, arrive in good time as the kitchen closes at 8.30 pm. The menu is varied, the food good value and portion sizes extremely generous!

Join us at Ganley’s from 7.30 pm on Tuesday 7th December for MSSC’s Christmas social. Put the date in your diary and details will be circulated nearer the time.

For more information about our monthly pub social, email info@mssc.org.uk

 

2. SWIMMING

MSSC’s weekly swimming session at the Canons, Mitcham has been reinstated. Club members have exclusive use of the pool each Thursday evening between 7 and 8 pm, and volunteer drivers are on hand to provide door-to-door transport for members living in Merton, if requested in advance.

For details, including the cost of admission and transport, please email swimming@mssc.org.uk

 

3. TANDEM CYCLING

MSSC’s tandem cycle rides, of varying lengths, continue to take place on the first Sunday and third Saturday of each month. All abilities are welcome, from beginners to seasoned cyclists. All rides include a refreshment stop and start and finish at the Guardian Centre, 67 Clarendon Road, Colliers Wood SW19 2DX. Solo cyclists are also very welcome.

We can only run as many rides as we have ride leaders available and so we would love to hear from any of our regular pilots who would be prepared to lead a ride in the future. Naturally, training and support will be provided.

The most popular rides tend to be Level 2 and 3, and although there is interest in the advanced Level 4, we struggle to secure enough suitable pilots. Level 1 continues to attract complete beginners (both stokers and pilots) or those who favour a very gentle ride, possibly to ease them back into tandem cycling after a break.

Members are asked to register for rides as soon as possible, using the google booking form. Every effort is made to accommodate each individual who registers, but it is a huge challenge to achieve the perfect ratio of pilots to stokers, so we cannot guarantee everybody a place, and you may end up on a lower level of ride or on a waiting list. The sooner you book the better and paid-up members will be given priority. If you register for a ride later than the preceding Wednesday, please email us to let us know, as we may not be checking for new sign-ups after that date and your registration may be missed.

The links to sign up for rides in November are below:-

In December, we will only be running rides on the first Sunday, as the third Saturday is 18th December, very close to Christmas, and we anticipate that people are likely to be otherwise engaged.

Here is the link to sign up for rides on Sunday 5th December:-

We will, however, be offering to run at least one ride on Sunday 2nd January, depending on how much interest we get. Links to sign up for rides in January will be circulated soon.

We hold regular maintenance sessions on a Wednesday morning once a month. If you can help with cleaning and repairing our bikes, we would love to hear from you!

For more information, email cycling@mssc.org.uk

 

4. WALKING

A big thank you to Peter who led MSSC’s last walk on Sunday 24th October, which was a moderately challenging walk along the perimeter path of Richmond park. Conditions were fair and most participants ended up in the pub for a rest and a well-earned drink!

The plan is to offer a monthly walk and, as a guide, we will aim at the last Sunday of each month. The next walk will take place on Sunday 28th November in picturesque Beddington Park. Precise details are yet to be confirmed, but the meeting time will be around 10.30 am.

As the last Sunday in December is Boxing Day, our December walk will take place on Tuesday 28th and will be a gentle stroll in Morden Hall Park from 10.30 am, followed by a festive drink in a local café or pub.

To register interest in either of the above walks or to be kept informed of future walks, please email walking@mssc.org.uk

 

5. CANOEING

MSSC owns a number of canoes that have not been on the water for several years. They are currently housed inside and on top of one of our storage containers at the Guardian Centre. However, when we eventually move from the Guardian Centre, possibly within the next six months, we will not be taking the canoes with us. The canoes are still watertight, but they are old and, when we resume our canoeing activities, hopefully, next spring, it will be far more practical to hire boats wherever we choose to paddle, rather than transporting our own canoes to and from the water.

If you, or anyone you know, is interested in giving a home to one or more of our canoes, please let us know as soon as possible. Contact us at committee@mssc.org.uk.

We are also keen to gauge interest in canoeing activities, so we are hoping to organise a “have a go” canoeing session next spring. please let us know if, in principle, you would be up for taking part.

 

6. RNIB SMART SPEAKER GIVEAWAY

How do you like the idea of getting instant access to thousands of RNIB audiobooks, free of charge, just by using your voice?

Well, that’s exactly what RNIB can offer! The RNIB is giving away 3,000 Amazon Echos (smart speakers) to celebrate the launch of their Talking Books library being available on Amazon Alexa.

You can simply say “Alexa, open RNIB Talking Books” to access thousands of titles. RNIB Library and Reading Services are fully accessible via an Amazon Echo and you can also ask the device to call the RNIB Helpline.

Terms and conditions do apply. You must meet the following criteria:

  • Be blind or partially sighted
  • Be a UK resident
  • Not currently own an Echo device
  • Be connected to the internet
  • Have an email address
  • Have a smart phone, tablet or computer access, necessary to enable the device; this may be via friends or family if not personally owned
  • Be for your own personal use; this device is not for resale
  • One device per customer.

To register interest in the offer, please contact the RNIB Helpline on 0303 123 9999.

 

7. MERTON VISION GRAND QUIZ EVENING

DATE: 12th November
TIME: 7:30-11:00 pm
VENUE: The Guardian Centre, 67 Clarendon Road SW19 2DX
COST: £5 per person (teams of 6)

Join Merton Vision for their grand quiz evening. There will be a licenced bar and a range of raffle prizes.

To reserve tickets, phone 020 8540 5446 or email info@mertonvision.org.uk

 

8. SOCIALLIGHT GROUP NOVEMBER MEETUP

This social/support group meets monthly and is designed to connect Disabled people aged between 18 and 45 years. Details of November’s meetup are below:-

Where: Arthur’s Café/Arthur’s Catering
170 Arthur Road, Wimbledon Park, London, SW19 8AQ
Website: https://www.arthurscafewimbledon.com/
When: Saturday, 13th November 2021
Time: 11 am-2 pm
Meetup group page: https://www.meetup.com/SocialLight-Group

Eventbrite page: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/173727522697

For further information, please contact Imran (founder of the SocialLight Support Group) by email: sociallightsw19@gmail.com or by phone: 07835420497.

 

9. EYE MATTER SUPPORT GROUP

Eye Matter is a friendly peer support and activity group for vision impaired adults, which meets virtually via the Zoom platform. Their weekly meetings are as follows:-

  • Monday 3 pm – 4 pm: Turning Surviving into Thriving
    Our mental health wellbeing group
  • Tuesday 6pm – 7pm: Social
  • Tuesday 7 pm- 8 pm (every fortnight): Activities for an adult audience including salsa, comedy, quizzes, meditation and mindfulness
  • Wednesday 11 am: Cookery with VI tips
    Easy yet delicious recipes
  • Wednesday 3:30 pm: Singing Workshop funded by the amazing
    Baluji Music Foundation
  • First Thursday of every month at 11 am: Mothers’ Meeting
    Come join us to discuss the things visually impaired parents have to deal with
  • Last Thursday of every month 11 am: Bookworms
    Audiobook group
  • Friday 11 am: Social group followed at 12 pm by a fun activity, such as writing workshop, Neurobics (exercises for the brain), meditation, quizzes, and body conditioning.
  • Saturday 8pm – 11pm: Sensational Saturdays
    Join Desen and Fatma (AKA the new Ant and Dec) For a fun and crazy Saturday night

N.B. Tuesday and Friday lunchtime activities change each week.

For more information, contact Suzie at eyemattervi@gmail.com or phone 07523 266 421.

 

10. METRO BLIND SPORT

Metro Blind Sport is an organisation offering an impressive variety of activities, accessible to vision impaired people, ranging from athletics, football, bowling to walking, swimming and side-by-side cycling, to name but a few.

Information about all the accessible activities delivered by Metro and their partners can be found on the Metro Blind Sport website:-www.metroblindsport.org

 

11. DATES FOR YOUR DIARY

  • 2nd November: MONTHLY PUB SOCIAL (Ganley’s, Morden)
  • 4th November: SWIMMING AT CANONS (7-8 pm every Thursday)
  • 7th November: SUNDAY CYCLE RIDES
  • 11th November: SWIMMING AT CANONS (7-8 pm every Thursday)
  • 13th November: SOCIALLIGHT GROUP MEETUP
  • 13th November: MERTON VISION GRAND QUIZ EVENING
  • 18th November: SWIMMING AT CANONS (7-8 pm every Thursday)
  • 20th November: SATURDAY CYCLE RIDES
  • 25th November: SWIMMING AT CANONS (7-8 pm every Thursday)
  • 28th November: WALK IN BEDDINGTON PARK
  • 2nd December: SWIMMING AT CANONS (7-8 pm every Thursday)
  • 5th December: SUNDAY CYCLE RIDES
  • 7th December: CHRISTMAS SOCIAL AT GANLEY’S, MORDEN
  • 28th December: WALK IN MORDEN HALL PARK

Merton Sports & Social Club for VI People (Charity No. 283843)

Email: info@mssc.org.uk 

Website: www.mssc.org.uk

 

 

Metro Blind Sports Social Networks

Get all the latest blind & partially sighted event information & news as soon as we do!

Metro Blind Sport:  Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Instagram   |  LinkedIn 

 

 

Tandem Cycling with MSSC

Group photo of smiling tandem cyclists and their pilots in the countryside at the camera Text says Tandem Cycling with Merton Sports and Social Club

Tandem Cycling with the Merton Sports and Social Club (MSSC)

Merton Sports and Social Club for Visually Impaired People (MSSC) has been organising tandem cycle rides for over thirty years from its base in Colliers Wood.  The club has a fleet of tandem bicycles and pairs up sighted front riders with visually impaired back riders for regular outings.

Our regular rides open to all members will begin on Saturday 22 May 2021, then on the first and third Saturday morning of each month after that, unless the government guidelines change.

To register interest in a ride well in advance, please email cycling@mssc.org.uk

MSSC are keen to see as many people as possible experiencing the joy of tandem cycling and all its physical, mental and social benefits. So, they would like to know, Covid notwithstanding, if you have ever fancied having a go at tandem cycling with MSSC, but have never actually booked up for one of their rides, what is stopping you?

Is it lack of experience, lack of fitness, lack of confidence, transport issues or perhaps the timings of rides?

Whatever it is, please let MSSC know, and they can see what they can do to address your concerns.  Email them at cycling@mssc.org.uk.

 

 

Tandem Cycling with MSSC

Group photo of smiling tandem cyclists and their pilots in the countryside at the camera Text says Tandem Cycling with Merton Sports and Social Club

Tandem Cycling with the Merton Sports and Social Club (MSSC)

Merton Sports and Social Club for Visually Impaired People (MSSC) has been organising tandem cycle rides for over thirty years from its base in Colliers Wood.  The club has a fleet of tandem bicycles and pairs up sighted front riders with visually impaired back riders for regular outings.

Our regular rides open to all members will begin on Saturday 22 May 2021, then on the first and third Saturday morning of each month after that, unless the government guidelines change.

To register interest in a ride well in advance, please email cycling@mssc.org.uk

MSSC are keen to see as many people as possible experiencing the joy of tandem cycling and all its physical, mental and social benefits. So, they would like to know, Covid notwithstanding, if you have ever fancied having a go at tandem cycling with MSSC, but have never actually booked up for one of their rides, what is stopping you?

Is it lack of experience, lack of fitness, lack of confidence, transport issues or perhaps the timings of rides?

Whatever it is, please let MSSC know, and they can see what they can do to address your concerns.  Email them at cycling@mssc.org.uk.

 

 

New Cycling Session at Herne Hill Velodrome!

New cycling session at Herne Hill Velodrome with Wheels for Wellbeing!
Venue:
Herne Hill Velodrome with Wheels for Wellbeing! - *BOOKING REQUIRED*
Time:
10.00 am - 12,00 Noon
Phone:
020 7346 8482
Date:
16th October 2020
Cost:
Confirm with Contact


New cycling session at Herne Hill Velodrome with Wheels for Wellbeing!

we are pleased to announce that we are able to open another session at Herne Hill Velodrome. This will be held on Friday mornings, between 10:00 am and 12:00 pm, starting on 18th September 2020.  Booking Required

Please note that our sessions are no longer running as drop-ins, so booking is now essential. If you haven’t got a confirmed booking, you will not be able to cycle.
If you want to read more and learn how to book a space, please click here.

These new Friday sessions will be open to all ages and will welcome new participants as well as existing cyclists. For the time being, Monday sessions remain reserved for existing Wheels for Wellbeing participants only and Sunday “Kids on Wheels” sessions continue to be exclusively for Disabled children up to 18 years old and their families (new or existing).

Covid-secure

In line with guidance from the government, the same Covid-secure measures will be in place on Fridays as the measures we have introduced on Mondays and Sundays. We want to make sure that participants, carers and our staff members are safe during the sessions.

 

Inclusive cycling sessions

We run inclusive cycling sessions for disabled people and their families, carers or friends, from three bases in south London. Our qualified instructors, supported by fantastic volunteers, help participants try our cycles or get comfortable on the one that suits them, and offer ongoing support.

Due to the Covid-19 outbreak, booking a space at a specific time slot is required at all our sessions. Please note that we will not be accepting participants on a drop-in basis.

How to book a place at the session?

If you would like to book a place for yourself or your client/family member at any of our sessions, please send an email to bookings@wheelsforwellbeing.org.uk providing answers to all the questions below:

  • Full name of the cyclist(s)
  • Full names of any supporter/family member attending with the cyclist(s) – please kindly limit the numbers of non-Disabled supporters who attend to a minimum, in order that we can provide places to a maximum of Disabled people.
  • Preferred date and time slot. Please note that we do not take bookings more than 2 weeks in advance.
  • What cycle you/your client would like to book and what cycle should be booked for a supporter/family member (this only applies for people that have attended our sessions before and know what cycle they like to use – on Fridays, our team will support new participants to find out which of our cycles works best for them during their first session).

In order to give us the time to organise our sessions and to send you a confirmation email or to let you know if we are fully booked, bookings close at:

  • 12:00 pm on Wednesday for that week’s Friday session
  • 12:00 pm on Friday for that week’s Kids on Wheels Sunday session
  • 12:00 pm on Friday for the following Monday’s session

If you email after the above deadline, we will only be able to book you for the following week’s session.

We will confirm each booking by sending you a confirmation email. Please bring your confirmation email with you to the session (either by printing it or having it on your phone). Please do not attend the session if you have not received the booking confirmation of your slot as you will not be allowed to cycle.

On your first visit

We are delighted to inform you that our new Friday sessions at Herne Hill Velodrome are open to new participants. To book a space, please email bookings@wheelsforwellbeing.org.uk

Before attending the session, you will be asked to complete our registration forms. At the session our experienced cycling instructors will help you find the cycle that suits you best.

Information for your first visit

Before attending your first session, please complete our online registration forms:

Covid-secure measures and new rules at our sessions

We have Covid-secure measures in place at all our sessions and have introduced new rules that follow government guidelines. We do everything to make sure that participants, carers and our staff members are safe during the sessions. Please read our rules before attending the session and follow instructions from our Inclusive Cycling Instructors, Volunteers, and Herne Hill Velodrome staff at all times.

Remember, if you have any symptoms of Covid-19 – cough, temperature, loss of taste or smell – please do not attend a session but ring 07578 746 448 to cancel your booking and book yourself a Covid-19 test.

If you develop Covid-19 symptoms or are told you have Covid-19 after taking a test within 7 days of attending a session, please tell NHS Test and Trace that you have attended our session and provide: info@wheelsforwellbeing.org.uk as the “contact”. If you are well enough to do so, please also tell us immediately that you have developed symptoms / tested positive for Covid-19.

We look forward to seeing you at the Herne Hill Velodrome soon!