A tandem bike is a multi seat bike with riders seated one behind the other. Most tandem bikes are built as two seaters but, some tandems may have three or more seats. In tandem cycling, the person in the front is called the pilot and the person behind is called the stoker.
The pilot’s job is to guide the bike, look out for obstructions on the road and call them out. The stoker delivers the power, helping the bike go faster through pedaling and keeping his body in sync with the pilot. Tandem bikes are ideal for riders who are visually impaired or those who may have a physical limitation to riding a single.
Although tandem bikes have more than one rider, don’t be fooled by the extra seating. They are fast and can really pick up speed on flat or rolling terrain and downhill slopes. For those who compete in the tandem racing space, custom tandems offer a lightweight, aerodynamic option that rivals single rider bicycles.
Tandem cycling is unique and complex because it requires riders to work as a team in synchronicity with each other. It also requires a high level of trust, especially when one of your team mates is blind such as the case with Matt and Mick of Oz Tandem.
Who is Oz Tandem?
Oz Tandem is a national cycling team made up of Mick Curran and Matt Formston. They are the current Australian National Champions for the Tandem Time Trial and the Tandem Road Race.
Mick is the tandem pilot and functions as the eyes for the team, calling the shots when it comes to race tactics and keeping them upright whilst pedaling to initiate the boys’ speed and power on the bike. Even though he started cycling competitively later in life, Mick boasts an impressive record that includes competing in the National Road Series in Australia and riding for the Dutch team in The Netherlands and he is sure to make Oz Tandem a formidable competitor at the 2013 Para-Cycling Road World Championships in Baie-Comaeu, Canada.
Matt functions as the stoker for the team and is the powerhouse force responsible for driving Oz Tandem to victory. Matt is an important part of what makes this team so unique: he was diagnosed with macular dystrophy as a child and now retains only 5% of his vision, making him legally blind. Matt also boasts an impressive cycling record and this will be his second time representing Australia on an international level.
Supporting causes that are relevant to our community and instill national pride are important to us. When we learned that our good friends Matt Formston and Mick Curran were taking on an international championship we knew that this was a cause worth standing behind.
Not only are Matt and Mick local to New South Wales but, their team is an inspiration to people around the world, which others may perceive as a physical limitation can also be used as a strength.
Betaview Aluminium Windows and Doors is proud to sponsor Oz Tandem. If you would also like to help support Matt and Mick, contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org
Oz Tandem Upcoming Events:
Australian Para-Cycling Road National Championships (Road Race) & (Time Trial), Echuca, April 2013
Para-Cycling Road World Cup August 2013 (Pending Selection)
Para-Cycling Road World Championships, Canada, August 2013 (Pending Selection)
National Track Championships, December 2013
World Track Championships, Italy, March 2014 (Pending Selection)