Ahead of the launch of its 2019 season, Ripon Tandem Club is appealing to keen cyclists to join its team of volunteer front riders and anyone with a disability who would like to enjoy the pleasures of riding a bike.
TV chef Gino D'Acampo issues warning for Harrogate restaurant owners
The Tandem Club, which is run by award-winning charity Open Country, meet every Thursday evening between April and September, and enables adults with visual impairments, learning disabilities and mental health issues to get outside and enjoy the countryside around Ripon, as well as stay active and socialise with their fellow riders.
The rides take place every Thursday from 6pm, starting from Ripon Leisure Centre, with the group riding out for up to 20 miles, and a pub stop thrown in along the way.
This year, for the first time ever, they are also able to offer the option for wheelchair users who can transfer to enjoy the weekly rides. Thanks to a grant from OneFamily, they have been able to purchase a wheelchair-accessible electrically assisted tandem bike.
Ripon Tandem Club leader, Kate Leggett, said: "We have a fabulous team of volunteer front riders - or 'pilots' - who take care of the steering, braking and tricky bits, so the disabled back rider - or 'stoker' - just needs to have good balance, pedal hard and enjoy the ride. We supply the bikes and all the gear so all we ask is that our members and volunteers bring lots of enthusiasm.
Inspirational Harrogate woman gets ready to skydive for a cause that's very close to her heart
"As well as enabling our members to keep fit and healthy, the social side of the club aims to increase their wellbeing, and the pub stop is an important part of the evening. We're a really friendly group and everyone has the same motivation - to enjoy the countryside on a bike."
The charity, which also has tandem clubs in Harrogate, Wetherby, York and Wakefield, have proved incredibly successful, with more than 150 different riders out in 2018 across the groups, collectively cycling the circumference of the Earth. The next challenge is to cycle to the moon...
If you are interested in getting involved, contact Open Country on 01423 507227, or email email@example.com.