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Peter’s father, Doug, bought the tandem second hand more than 70 years ago. It was given a partial refit in the 1970s and used occasionally by family members including Doug’s five children. It underwent a major restoration in 2021-2022, partly as a COVID project, but primarily to enable visually impaired people to enjoy the thrill of bike riding and the sense of freedom it provides.
The frame was built in the mid 1930’s with many of the oversized parts being reengineered to enable standard fittings to be used. The bike has been meticulously restored. Much of the refurbishment was undertaken by highly skilled trades people with the paint scheme being a good example. Reassuringly, the bike is safe and well-constructed.
Peter worked as a librarian for many years before becoming a university professor. He began competitive cycling at thirteen and raced for twenty years, including competing as a domestic-based professional road cyclist. Now retired, he wishes to empower others to enjoy cycling on courses such as the Bellarine Rail Trail, the Barwon River path, and other routes such as the Geelong Ring Road Trail. Quiet roads can also be incorporated into the rides. The idea is to commence with short rides before increasing the distance as the stokers (that’s the name for those important people on the back) gain confidence and fitness.
When Doug acquired the tandem back in the 1940s, he would never have envisaged it would enable those with visual impairments to enjoy riding along some of the roads he used to ride along with his brother. To symbolise this, the bike is named ‘Macauley et al’ with Macauley being the family name and ‘et al’ being Greek for ‘and others’. Peter hopes many others will enjoy the tandem as much as the Macauley’s have.