Cycling is a sport that is inclusive of athletes of all disabilities. Athletes can compete on a track or on the road. Track racing has various types of events including sprints and individual time trials whilst road races are conducted on regular roads.

Cycling was first developed by visually impaired cyclists who competed using tandem bicycles. It was introduced as a Paralympic Sport in Seoul in 1988. 

Today the sport includes four groups of handicaps; blind and visually impaired riders, people with cerebral palsy, locomotor disabilities and handcycling. Handcyclists are athletes whose lower extremities have been amputated or suffer a degree of paralysis. Athletes race on bicycles, tricycles, tandem or handcycles based on their impairment. Handcycles are unique as they are powered by the arms not the legs. 

Rules & Equipment

Tandem Bicycle 

Whether you are competing or just riding for fun and health, a tandem bicycle is required if you have a Vision Impairment, this is to ensure the safety of both you and others around you. 

Guide/Lead

Having a Pilot for your Tandem Bike is crucial to be able to Cycle with a Vision Impairment. This should be someone that you know is a capable rider and you trust. Once you have a lead rider and safety equipment such as helmets and any elbow/knee pads you may require. 

Classifications 

When in competitions classifications are not required as all Cyclists will have a lead rider that will steer for them, meaning that the only thing that makes a difference between them s not impacted by their Vision Impairment. 

Pathways

There are multiple pathways to get involved with Blind Cycling, however the best way to start is to get in contact with someone that you trust to be your lead, as well as a bike store if you are looking to buy or rent and tandem bicycle and hit the roads.

How to Contact? 

Blind Cycling is an activity that can be done both as a recreational activity and at a high competitive level. You should ride with someone that you trust as your lead, and if you are looking to buy or rent a tandem bicycle then it is recommended you visit local stores or look online. 

If you have questions regarding cycling you should call your Local Member Organisation, or you can visit the sports.org.au website to find more information on how to start and continue with Blind Cycling. 

Contact Information

Cycling Australia - https://cycling.org.au/get-involved/para-cycling