Blind and sighted riders team up for 24-hour tandem bike relay

October 11, 2012 By Mary Frost Brooklyn Daily Eagle
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Tandem bicycle teams — made up of one blind or vision-impaired and one sighted rider – will soon be cycling across the city for a full 24 hours to raise awareness that vision loss can be preventable. The relay starts Friday, October 12, and winds up with Lighthouse International’s Double Up 4 Vision Bike Ride/Walk at Hudson River Park on Saturday morning.

Each team is composed of a sighted “pilot” and a visually impaired “stoker.” One of these stokers is Brooklyn resident and world-class athlete Caitlin Sarubbi. Born with a visual impairment, Sarubbi competed in all five alpine skiing events at the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games in Vancouver. She won the College Bound Award at Lighthouse International and is currently a junior at Harvard.

 “It’s important to give back for what you have received,” she said in a statement. “I am blessed in so many ways and if I can help bring awareness to others about people who have suffered from vision loss, then I am more than happy to do so.” Her tandem partner will be Breanna Sarubbi.

Another Brooklyn biker is Romeo Edmead, who lost his sight when he was two years-old. Edmead attended a youth transition program at the Lighthouse, and now is a journalist and writer for Matilda Ziegler Magazine for the Blind and a tour guide for Dialog in the Dark. Cosimo Policastro will be Edmead’s pilot.

“I am participating in Double Up 4 Vision to help raise awareness of vision loss and to encourage people to be active,” Edmead said. “People with vision loss really can do anything!”

Four of the teams will be making a stop at Juniors in Brooklyn Friday evening to talk about the issue. Joining the bikers there will be Fire Commissioner Sal Cassano, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, Juniors Representatives, Lighthouse International President and CEO Mark Ackermann and Double Up 4 Vision Bike Relay Teams.

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