On Friday, October 12thMaria Rios and Lynnette Tatum, who are vision impaired, will participate in a 24-hour bike relay ride, touching New York City’s five boroughs, to kick-off Lighthouse International’s Third Annual Double Up 4 Vision Bike Ride/Walk.
Lighthouse International, New York’s leading non-profit organization dedicated to fighting vision loss through prevention, treatment and empowerment, is organizing this unique fundraiser. The event will consist of sighted bike riders that will team up with visually impaired riders for New York’s only Tandem Bike Ride/Walk on October 13th at Hudson River Park.
The 24-hour relay ride, touching New York City’s five boroughs, will be held on Friday, October 12th to kick-off the main event. This 24-hour relay ride features twelve inspirational New Yorkers, who despite their vision challenge, have never stopped believing in themselves and giving back.
Double Up 4 Vision is more than just a tandem bike ride and walk to fight vision loss; it’s a celebration of an ideal, where you are not defined and confined by limitations, but set free to ride, walk and enjoy life in a spirit of mutual respect and unity.
Maria Rios: At the tender age of 7 months, Cerebral Meningitis was my passport to the land of very low vision. However, that never stopped her from participating in active sports.
Maria first developed her love of bike-riding from a teacher at the New York Institute, a school for the visually impaired. Maria continued her love of riding through the Achilles tandem group, which helped further her riding experiences. “It’s been wonderful to ride behind a well-trained captain/pilot, blissfully enjoying the sights, sounds and smells of Central Park and other areas of our wonderful city” says Maria.
Maria is also a Lighthouse Music School student, as well as the school’s Administrative Assistant
“I ride for the enjoyment, for the freeing sense I receive, and now I ride for Double up for Vision to let the sighted world know that with a little help from our friends we can perform and often excel at any undertaking of our choosing,” said Maria.
Lynnette is Senior Instructor at the Computer Center for Visually Impaired People (CCVIP) at Baruch College where she teaches people who are blind and visually impaired to use Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint. She also instructs individuals in using the powerful tools of the Internet. Students use screen readers and screen magnifiers to achieve these goals. She also writes for the Matilda Ziegler magazine and heads infoShare, a group of people who are blind and visually impaired individuals that meets monthly to discuss hot topics such as technology, cooking, advocacy and product demonstrations.
“I am riding in Lighthouse’s Double Up 4 Vision to reinforce the idea that with a bit of assistance, people with vision loss can and do achieve their goals every single day,” said Lynnette.
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