Our Focus this month is Bob Rindt, a stoker (and all around great guy) who is in search of a few good captains.
Three years ago Bob Rindt placed an ad in the The Freewheel classifieds. Bob, who’s blind and enjoys cycling, was seeking a captain to accompany him on his tandem. Previously, Bob had been tandem riding with his friend John for a couple of years until John passed away.
Bob’s interest in cycling began a long time ago. His initial experience on a bicycle was riding solo with his sister. She’d be his guide as he rode either side by side or behind her along low trafficked roads in their neighborhood. Bob’s first tandem partners were his mother and friends from school. Staying fit is important to Bob, and his rec room has become an exercise room which includes a stationary bicycle. But for Bob, nothing beats getting outdoors on the tandem and experiencing the joys that cycling offers – zipping along in the fresh air, going different places, hearing the sounds of the open road along with the banter of fellow riders. Of course the hills, the heat, and occasional bumps in the road are also part of the sport, but these challenges are not enough to deter Bob.
Communication is a vital part of tandem riding, and Bob appreciates a captain letting him know about starts, stops, turns, road conditions and upcoming hills. Occasional commentary about sights passed along the way is nice to hear too. A good stoker has to be a calm, trusting soul, and Bob is as good as they come, a relaxed rider who makes the captain feel at ease.
Oh, and getting back to that ad mentioned earlier…our fellow Freewheeler Kyle Nylander responded, & a good riding team was born. Kyle & Bob have been cycling together for a few years now & have enjoyed the unique pleasures & camaraderie that only riding a tandem can bring. But Bob realizes that relying on one captain for all your rides can sometimes put undue pressure on the captain as well as limit your opportunities to ride. Bob’s in need of additional captains & invites you to join him in exploring the wonderful world of tandem cycling. What’s that you say, I’m a novice & have never ridden a tandem! Don’t let that stop you. There will be a tandem training ride next month geared especially to folks who have never ridden a tandem but have a desire to find out what all the fun is about.
Bob lives in Lawrenceville with his vibrant wife Lauren, her mother Elsie & two friendly seeing eye dogs. I think all the folks who’ve met Bob would agree that he’s a very capable rider & simply a pleasure to be around to boot. Bob, we wish you many more happy miles in that stok’in smok’in saddle with old and new captains alike.
Please consider being a captain to a blind or visually impaired cyclist (whether you can ride once a week or once a year… we need you) Bob can be reached at (609) 912-0657 or cell (609) 802-3116 Look for info on the tandem training ride in the April issue of The FreeWheel.