The Blind Stokers

CYCLISTS WITH VISION DISABILITIES PARTICPATE IN 50- AND 100-MILE RIDES DURING 15th ANNUAL TOUR DE PALM SPRINGS

Vision Impaired Riders in Tour de PalmThe Blind Stokers of San Diego participated in the 15th Annual Tour de Palm Springs, offering a cycling clinic to local youth with vision disabilities and riding in the event’s two longest rides. The group is one of several that Incight, a local non-profit serving people with disabilities, has brought to the event.

PALM SPRINGS, CA (Dec. 13, 2012) – At least 20 cyclists from the Blind Stokers of San Diego will participate in the 15th Annual Tour de Palm Springs, riding in the two longest routes of the event. Riding in pairs of a sighted rider and a rider with a vision impairment, the Blind Stokers’ cyclists will take their tandem cycles on the 50- and 100-miles rides on Feb. 9th, 2013.

Prior to the charity ride, the group will offer a clinic on Feb. 8th to introduce students of the Braille Institute in Rancho Mirage to cycling. Volunteers will also team up with the students to participate in a one-mile ride during the Tour de Palm Springs.

The Blind Stokers of San Diego is one of several groups that Incight, a local non-profit serving people with disabilities, has brought to the annual cycling event.

Blind Stokers Tour de Palm BikesSince 2009, Incight has worked to include riders with disabilities in the Tour de Palm Springs. What started as three amputees participating in the Tour with handcycles grew to a fleet of more than 50 handcyclists over the next two years. By working with various outreach groups for people with disabilities, such as Amputee Connection of Redlands and PossAbilities of Loma Linda University, Incight has been successful in including people with amputations, spinal cord injuries, cerebral palsy and, most recently, vision impairments in the annual cycling event.

“We’re connecting people with disabilities to the community through the Tour de Palm Springs, not only so they have the opportunity to socialize and engage in their community, but also so the community can see that people with disabilities have tremendous talent,” says Judy May, Incight’s Regional Director.

Since 1999, the Tour de Palm Springs has raised more than $1 million for local organizations like Incight. With a strong focus on offering adaptive recreational opportunities year-round, Incight uses proceeds to purchase costly adaptive sports equipment, such as handcycles, which can sell for about $1,900 on the low end.

“We’ve been so appreciative of the support from the Tour de Palm Springs,” May said. “We’ll continue to work together to identify and include people with disabilities in the event.”

About Incight

Disabled Rider riding in Tour de PalmFounded in 2002 by Palm Desert High School alumnus Vail Horton, Incight connects people with disabilities to the community through four core service areas: Education, Employment, Independence and Networking. Incight also provides opportunities for people with disabilities to participate in adaptive sports year-round through activities including monthly handcycling clinics and weekly rides. Incight awards 4-year renewable scholarships each year to students with disabilities, giving out $100,000 in scholarships annually. For more information, call (760) 674-2473 or visit www.incight.org.

About Tour de Palm Springs

Started in 1999 by local businessman Tim Esser, the Tour de Palm Springs has raised more than $1 million for Coachella Valley charities and non-profit organizations. Nearly 10,000 cyclists participated in the 2012 charity ride, raising $275,000 for 142 local organizations. The 15th Annual Tour de Palm Springs will be held on Feb. 9th, 2013. For more information, call (760) 674-4700 or visit www.tourdepalmsprings.com.

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