Blind teenager in four-day tandem ride from London

Blind teenager in four-day tandem ride from London

A BLIND teenager from Gomersal is preparing for a charity tandem bike ride from London to Paris.

Brittany Stead, 19, of Spen Lane, begins her marathon four-day trek to the French capital on Thursday, July 28.

She will be the back legs while a sighted rider will steer and pedal from the front.

Brittany is a member of the Kirklees Visual Impairment Network’s (KVIN) Tandem Trekkers club.

This pairs up visually-impaired and sighted people for bike rides for a mix of exercise and social benefits.

Costs for the Paris ride have been met by a £600 donation from accountants Revell Ward, whose director Jennifer Davies and staff member Karen Borowski are Tandem Trekkers.

The club is about to be spun off as a charity in its own right, which means it will need funding.

Brittany, who is aided by Labrador guide dog Honey, hopes her effort raises much-needed cash and the group’s profile.

She said: “For many visually-impaired or blind people, riding a bike can be very daunting.

“Tandem Trekkers provides these people with the opportunity to ride and train at different cycle trails.

“There are also track sessions and exciting activities such as visiting a velodrome. The rides vary in distances to suit all abilities.”

Brittany, a sixth former in Brighouse, plays for Team GB at the paralympic sport of goalball.

Born with limited vision that deteriorated, she also runs and swims and hopes to study sociology at the University of Leeds.

Brittany said: “Three years ago I started to lose my vision due to several eye conditions. This was a rapid and unexpected deterioration and as a result I now have no useful vision and only light perception.

“I have found it incredibly difficult to adapt and come to terms with the sudden loss of sight.

“Throughout my childhood I was able to ride a solo bike alongside my older sister, Bethany.

“When I lost my sight this was no longer possible. But last year I was brought a tandem to tryout and it was great to be able to ride a bike again.”

Donations for Tandem Trekkers can be made online at https://crowdfunding.justgiving.com/brittany-stead.

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