Tim O'Neal - Checking routes to make sure they are safe for tandem teams is done before every major ride. I joined Matthew Nidek (left), Executive Director of InTandem, and Jonathan Epstein (Center), Director of Operations for a scouting ride in drizzly w

InTandem - Means Together

"...what would it be like if your ability to ride independently was permanently altered or lost?"

by Tim O'Neal, 2019 Pactimo Brand Ambassador

For many of us, cycling is a fact of life. Whether we ride to get to work, to get fit, InTandem Inc. - InTandem teams train together and put their talents to the test on every ride. Coordination is key when riding a bicycle built for two and being a captain requires both technical and people skills. Riding a bike is a joyous experience, and InTandem opens that experience up to blind, low vision, and otherwise disabled members of our New York City Community.  to get out of our own heads for a hot minute, or to win, riding becomes something that is central to the way we live our daily lives. Most people have experienced injuries or circumstances that have prevented us from riding temporarily and know well the frustration and fear that comes along with those dark days. We count the minutes and hours until we can get back out there, doing what we need to do.

Imagine, then, what it would be like if your ability to ride independently was permanently altered or lost.

This is a reality that many people face. For some, there is a solution to be found in adaptive cycling and organizations like InTandem, a NYC-based group that Ariana Reichler - InTandem stokers and captains prepping for the yearly Donut Ride fundraiser. enables blind, low vision, or otherwise disabled people to experience cycling for the first time or to get back on the road by pairing them as stokers with trained volunteer captains on tandem bicycles. After some training, these teams may go on rides ranging from slow and steady Central Park loops, to the New York Century, and everything in between.

They’re open to all manner of riders and rides; after a recent wrist injury prevented my cycling solo, I joined their management team as a stoker for a 40 mile road, gravel, and mud ride along the Croton Aqueduct route scouting for a summer trip to the Untermeyer Gardens Conservatory in Yonkers.

If you’re interested in participating as either a Captain or Stoker (or know someone who would be), you can get in touch with InTandem through their website: https://www.intandembike.org/.

Ariana Reichler - A smorgasbord of donuts from Alpha Donuts in Queens. Coffee was also available at all stops.

You can also help out by participating in their yearly fundraising “DONUT RIDE”. After decorating yourself with a variety of reflective and glowing items, you can join a multi-borough midnight ride with stops at amazing bakeries, diners, and dives in Brooklyn, Queens, THE BRONX, and Manhattan. If sucking down sugar isn’t your speed, but you still want to help, think about joining their 5 Boro Bike Tour fundraising team at https://www.crowdrise.com/o/en/campaign/2019-5-boro-bike-tour-campaign.

InTandem Inc. - A field of InTandem teams showing off before a ride. Guide and service dogs are cared for during rides and reunited with their people afterwards.

Ride Safe, Ride Often.
Tim O'Neal