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Blind Cyclists On Their Way In 24-Hour Relay Across NYC

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Cyclists set off on their relay - New York, NY - Oct 21, 2011 (credit: Susan Elefant / Lighthouse International)

Cyclists set off on their relay – New York, NY – Oct 21, 2011 (credit: Susan Elefant / Lighthouse International)

diamond_feature Marla Diamond
I began my career at WCBS in the fall of 1997 as the station's New...
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NEW YORK (WCBS 880) - There was a spirited send off for a 24-hour bike relay across the five boroughs where half the riders are visually impaired.

WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond On The Story

“It’s dawning. I’m a little nervous,” said Casey Burkhart, who will sit on the rear seat of a tandem bike. “And I don’t steer, or brake, or change gears, but I provideĀ a lot of the power for the biking and Harry Davison, my pilot controls the gears, the steering, and also gives guidance for things like red lights, and changing gears, going up hills.”

ArtiĀ Elefant was an avid rider until he began losing his vision ten years ago.

“Someone came to me and said, ‘I have a tandem bike and would you like to go for a ride on the back?’ and I was hooked,” he told WCBS 880 reporter Marla Diamond.

The first three teams departed from East 59th Street this morning and the ride has raised $258,000 for Lighthouse International, a worldwide resource helping people overcome the challenges of vision loss.

“The sighted person seems to get more out of it than the visually impaired person because they learn to see the world through a different set of eyes,” said Lighthouse International president Mark Ackermann.

This ride, and five similar ones today and Saturday, lead up to the Double Up 4 Vision 5k on Saturday, at which over 500 people are expected. That starts Saturday at 10 a.m. at Riverside Drive and West 135th Street.

Have you ever done anything to help a blind person? What did you do? Share your experience in the comments section below.

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