It is hard to believe that I am only a few days away from my ride across Arizona. The event is called The Blind Ride and is a charity effort to help the Foundation for Blind Children a 501c3 charity in Phoenix. The Blind Ride should make for an incredible yet challenging five day adventure for all of us. This tandem bike ride is 390 miles and starts at the New Mexico border and runs to the California state line. My goal is to raise funds and awareness for the FBC and hopefully inspire a few people along the way.
Riding a tandem bike as a blind man is exhilarating. My first few rides were a bit rocky, but still a lot of fun. Being on the back of a road bike feels like something between flying and riding a roller coaster. The feel of the road under you as the wind flows by heightens all of your senses. Going down hill at over forty miles an hour will keep you having some constant communication with God. I have no idea of what is coming or what the terrain has in store for us, but I hold on and lean in to the turns with the bike. This makes for a scary and exciting experience not to mention a great workout. You really have to have a lot of trust in the Captain. My training schedule has had Scoob Schmidt (Captain) and me riding 50 to 130 miles a week for the last 5 months. We have now ridden well over 1000 miles together and have found a solid balance and rhythm on the bike. My training for this event has been amazing and I am looking forward to seeing how it pays off.
The Blind Ride starts on September 25 and we plan on finishing on September 29th. This 390 mile route will have us riding a minimum of 80 miles a day to reach our 5 day goal. There are 4 of us riding the route and 2 support vehicles following. We have 2 Cannondale tandems thanks to team member Doug Bowden. Doug, Scoob and Gene Longwell will also have their standard road bikes along to ride when not working as the Captain. Ben Cane and Doug’s daughter Kelly Bowden complete our 6 person team as drivers for the support vehicles.
I started the Blind Ride as a fun way to help raise funds for the Foundation for Blind Children. Our hopes are that we will be able to raise $25,000 to help the FBC’s Braille program. If this sounds like something you would like to contribute to, thank you. To donate you can go to www.seeitourway.org… This is a truly worthy organization that made a huge impact in my life. Every little bit helps and will make a difference in a blind or visually impaired person’s life.