For 25 years, Achilles International has provided disabled athletes with opportunities to engage in healthy athletic competitions and events throughout New York City. The Achilles Tandem Bike Program expands on the programs that Achilles offers and serves as a forum where disabled athletes can learn the skills needed to participate in quintessential New York events such as the Five Boro Bike Tour. Tandem cycling is a wonderful way for people with disabilities to exercise, have fun and bond with able-bodied friends or loved ones.
"An opportunity to keep in shape, enjoy the fresh air in the summer, and to socialize with others." -Jose Medellin, May 18, 2010.”
"It is overwhelming and rewarding for all involved!" -Todd Kupferman, August 22, 2009
The Achilles Tandem Bike Program was inspired by Artie Elefant, a 63-year-old Achilles athlete who lost most of his vision due to retinitis pigmentosa over twenty years ago and was diagnosed with chronic lymphoncytic leukemia. In spite of these obstacles, Artie continues to train and compete in various endurance events, including marathons, triathlons, and bike tours with the assistance of volunteer guides from Achilles.
"I am a visually challenged 63 year old male, but nearly 20 years ago my loss of vision forced me to stop riding my bike," said Artie. "Thanks to Achilles' Tandem Bike Program, I am back on the road again enjoying the feel of the wind in my face and the open road. I am now able to create an entirely new set of memories and experiences, which is why tandem biking can be so great for a visually challenged person such as myself or any other person with adaptive sports needs.
There really isn't anything as rewarding as feeling the terrain of the road and the smell and sounds of the world as you ride through it. These are feelings that I have only recently rediscovered through the joys of tandem biking."
Achilles owns 10 tandem bicycles which are stored in Central Park, and it's program of bi-weekly rides will be available for Achilles members of all ages, fitness levels, and abilities. If you are interested in trying a tandem as an Achilles Member or as a volunteer guide, please contact Ayesha McGowan.