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2006

Queanbeyan Festival of Ability – 1 December

The Queanbeyan Festival of Ability celebrated the International Day of People with a Disability. Tandem cyclists from Pedal Power and FIT demonstrated tandem cycling for disabled riders, answered questions from interested members of the public and gave short rides on tandems.

Hartley Cycle Challenge -24 to 26 November

Nearly 300 cyclists rode 460km from Canberra to Kosciusko and back. The ride raised more than $480,000 towards Hartley Lifecare's disability support programs. The Disability ACT team used two of our bikes and the trailer so two intellectually disabled riders could participate. Oenone Wood, Glenn Cocking and Harry (another Disability ACT carer) piloted. Practice time with the tandem bikes was arranged prior to the event.

Blind Citizens Australia Conference – 8 October

Six tandem bikes went to Goulburn to offer the experience of riding tandem to vision impaired representatives from around Australia. Six conference participants cycled with us. A special mention for the Goulburn bike shop for their help and providing mementos for the stokers.

Second Come and Try day – 16 September

Three new vision impaired stokers came along and around six new pilots. Several experienced pilots assisted with the event. It was advertised to vision impaired groups around Canberra and aimed at attracting new stokers.

First Come and Try day - 1 July

14 volunteer tandem riders attended, including three experienced vision impaired pilots. This event was advertised via cycling groups and aimed to attract future tandem pilots.

In July on a Saturday afternoon around 14 volunteer tandem riders from FIT and Pedal Power turned up at the Acton Ferry terminal carpark for a "Come and Try" afternoon. Phyl Crawford, the President of FIT, welcomed our experience and new pilots and three vision impaired stokers (often with more tandem experience than the pilots! Over the next few hours an excellent time was had by all on six tandem bikes as we perfected our skills. Our volunteer were matched up size wise which is important to balancing a tandem. We were given instruction on starting off and stopping and making sure the pilot (in charge of steering, braking and gear changes) communicated regularly with the stoker about what was going on. Cycling coaches from FIT gave invaluable advice.

Pilots also took turns at being stokers and had the interesting experience of no longer being in control of where the bike was going, and the even more interesting experience (if they were brave) of closing their eyes while cycling!

The day ended with an excellent afternoon tea of course!

FIT-Ability and Pedal Power join forces

In 2006 FIT established a partnership with Canberra’s largest recreational cycling group, Pedal Power ACT. Pedal Power is a not-for-profit organisation which promotes cycling and represents the interests of people who ride bicycles in Canberra. This allowed FIT-Ability to expand its program and offer tandem cycling to vision impaired women and men. The pool of volunteer pilots riding with FIT-Ability increased dramatically.