In the early months of 2023, I found myself welcomed into the community of VIE Velo, a tandem cycling club nestled in Edinburgh. Their mission? Simple, yet profound – to unite visually impaired riders with sighted pilots, fostering friendship and shared joy through cycling.

Before my time with VIE Velo, I had dabbled in tandem cycling as a stoker at the back, courtesy of Cycle Law Scotland’s office tandem. Lunch breaks were often spent gliding along the Tweed Valley cycle path, the gentle hum of wheels beneath me. Yet, stepping into the role of a pilot was a new adventure altogether.

Becoming a pilot with VIE Velo was a new challenge for me. It meant not just steering the tandem, but also becoming the eyes for my visually impaired partner, guiding us through each journey with care and narration. VIE Velo’s training sessions equipped me with the skills needed to navigate our rides seamlessly.

Weekends with VIE Velo became treasured escapes, filled with scenic routes and well-deserved ice cream stops. Together, we tackled challenges like the Poppy Scotland Cycling Sportive, a ride consisting of 47 miles of rolling hills in East Lothian starting and finishing in Prestonpans, celebrating every milestone along the way.

As the sun set on our first evening ride of the year out to South Queensferry, I couldn’t help but feel grateful for the simple pleasures of cycling and the camaraderie of VIE Velo. With summer on the horizon, I eagerly anticipate more adventures with this remarkable community.

Vie Velo Tandem group ride

I know that the club is always on the look out for additional pilots, so if you are interested, please make contact vieveloridecoordinator@gmail.com.

As part of the Edinburgh Festival of Cycling, Vie Velo are holding a ‘come and try’ session on Sunday 9th June in Saughton Park. Details can be found here.

Zara Jones – Associate Solicitor

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