Tandem help - shifting gears quicky without a dictionary

Everyone is talking in a chaos. It must be turbulent on the first day, when ca. 40 people from 4 countries are there, setting the bikes (more specifically the Tandems) and finding the right bike for every team. Half of the participants are blind.

And on the 2nd day - meaning after the first tour - it isn't looking any different, because not everything fit... What was gear shift in ukrainian again? I still had it yesterday, but now, that things are getting serious...

Unfortunately, the Tandem of a latvian team had problems, meaning it was actually just the chain, that didn't want to work. And because the next bike shop offered a repair date in six weeks, the Tandem had to go into the garage. Yes, gear shift in ukranian - we had a new problem now, because the alternative Tandem looked completely different.

Surprises such as these are of course nothing new at the international Tandem-Jugend-Camps.

Why would it look different at the 19th time in June in Cologne?

Oksana didn't really know how to handle the new bike as the pilot. She came from Kiev via buses and trains and together with her co-pilot Andrey, who had already found a temporary home in Nürnberg for a year, she came to the Tandem camp.

She didn't let it discourage her, even though she hardly had any Tandem experience. But 60 to 70 km daily on a bike, that you don't really know how to handle and the gear shift seems a bit complicated...

Cologne was the savior, to be exact it was the fact, that Tandem-Hilfen e.V. had placed a Tandem to „practice“ in the local school for the visually impaired.

It had to step in... And we didn't even have to know what gear shift means in ukranian, because it was easy to handle and perfect for the team...

Oksana and Andrey were happy and from now on always at front. Apparently, they didn't need all 14 gears on the managable terrain. But Andrey was amazed. It was not his fault, when starting up didn't quite go so well. Now, there no complications anymore when it comes to that.

Well, shifting with the Rohloff gear shift, is also possible without a dictionary.


Thomas Nicolai

Tandem-Hilfen e.V.