Terry Wall: Introduction to eXsight

Four tandems at the Illawarra Velodrome

I’ve always been one who looks for an adventure in life. In 2003 I went for a bicycle ride with my 17 year old son Joshua to Africa. We took our mountain bikes with panniers, tent, sleeping gear, cooking gear and rode from Johannesburg, through the Kalahari Desert of Botswana and all the way to Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.

We still had a long way to go on our journey to the capital of Kenya, Nairobi. Once arriving in Nairobi we then ventured high up into the mountains to climb the 2nd tallest mountain in Africa, Mt Kenya. The following week we made our way to Moshi in Tanzania and climbed the ultimate mountain in Africa, Mt Kilimanjaro. Now that was an incredible experience.

Over the next 2 months we made our way slowly back to where it all began in Johannesburg, South Africa. We celebrated Joshua’s 18th birthday on the trip. We had spent 4 months cycling in Africa and had an incredible time together.

Over the next 6 years I always thought of returning to Africa and I did with my wife in 2008. Still I wanted more. Eventually I came across a tour company who specialised in tours from Cairo to Capetown, over 12,000 kms of riding. Now that had my name all over it. I signed up and got ready for the tour. The tour started in January 2011.

The tour company had its own charity in Africa and riders were encouraged to raise money to help disadvantaged communities along the way. I thought about this and decided I should help people closer to home. I had no idea where to look.

About 3 months before the tour started, whilst out riding my bike along the cycleway of Wollongong, Australia, I noticed 2 gentlemen, Ralph Scrivens and Lord Tobias. They were wearing green jerseys with a tandem bicycle out the front of Ruby’s coffee shop. I struck up a conversation with both of them about their tandem bike and the green jerseys. I was informed that they were part of a group that took out vision impaired people on tandems each week. They told me that they were after more up to date tandems and needed more volunteers. I thought what a great idea.

From that point on I got to meet all the members of eXsight Tandems and took part in their rides taking out vision impaired people each week. I held a fundraising night at the Corrimal Leagues Club and raised over $10,000 for the charity.

I continue to be a part of eXsight Tandems and love the opportunity to ride with them each week.

Terry Wall blogs at terrywall.blogspot.com.au and tweets as @ledge56.

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