cycling utah August 2000

Tandem group shares riding experience with sight impaired

      Every cycling enthusiast knows the thrill and exhilaration of riding down a quiet country road. But what if you've lost the use of your eyes? Does that mean cycling is now impossible?
      The Utah League of Tandem Riding Addicts (ULTRA) Club shouts a resounding "NO!" To prove their love of cycling and desire to help the blind community, ULTRA held a very special service event on Saturday June 17, 2000 at Antelope Island. Several ULTRA Club members provided tandems and captains so the blind and visually impaired participants could enjoy a day of cycling the Antelope Island loop road.
      The event was organized by Rob and Jen Reid of ULTRA with help from Steve and Becky Andrews of The Foundation Fighting Blindness Utah Affiliate. "We wanted to do a service project" said Rob Reid,  "and the idea of providing a cycling experience for the blind seemed a natural."
      Approximately 15 blind and visually impaired people participated and each said they had a great time.
      "What an exciting and invigorating experience!" said Chris Unander of Salt Lake City. "It was so nice to get outdoors and enjoy meeting new people and talking about cycling and not blindness"!
      ULTRA hopes to continue this event on a regular basis to give more opportunities for the blind and visually impaired to get out and enjoy the world.
      As an ongoing project ULTRA is raising funds to purchase 5 used tandem bicycles to donate for use by the blind communities of the Wasatch Front. All who would like to donate are encouraged to send a check or money order made out to "The Foundation Fighting Blindness" and mail to Becky Andrews at: 746 S. 475 East, Centerville, UT 84014.

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