Technion students build inclusive cycling club for the visually impaired

Using tandem bicycles, visually impaired riders can team up with a seeing partner and ride together around Haifa.

Oren Blitzblau (right), who was blinded during his IDF service, and Yossi Pocker (left) will ride a tandem bike together at the Israeli Gran Fondo, a cycling event that will take place in the Dead Sea and the city of Arad over March 23-24 (photo credit: YARON PEREL)
Oren Blitzblau (right), who was blinded during his IDF service, and Yossi Pocker (left) will ride a tandem bike together at the Israeli Gran Fondo, a cycling event that will take place in the Dead Sea and the city of Arad over March 23-24
(photo credit: YARON PEREL)
Technion students designed a special cycling club meant to serve the visually impaired in and around the northern city of Haifa which will kick off on Thursday.
Using tandem bicycles, the visually impaired bike riders team up with one seeing partner each who sits at the front and the two jointly enjoy the riding experience.
Created by Migdal Or as a riding group, the club will serve as a home to the 15 pairs and will offer them a place to store the bikes, a shed to meet under, and even a small kitchen to serve hot and cold drinks or get a bite to eat before the weekend ride. 
Under the guidance of Dr. Dan Price and lecturer Michal Bleicher who teach a course titled Studio Design Build at the Technion, the students met with the group and learned about their unique set of needs.
The center was built using donated materials and volunteer labor by members of the riding group as well as the students who designed it. 
Migdal Or CEO Oded Bashan thanked the Technion, the students, and the city of Haifa which helped push the permits in a speedy process and called on "anyone interested in joining this riding group to contact us." 
Active in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa and Beersheba, Migdal Or offers those who are visually impaired information, workshops and emotional support to help them live their lives to the fullest with their new situation.