InTandem captains Jacob Tempchin and Jonathon Epstein will have the honor of riding with stoker Eris Skenderi in the TD Five Boro Bike Tour!
We don’t call him E-Bike for nothing! Riding with Eris is like having a motor on back!
Interview with Eris
How long have you been riding with InTandem?
I have been riding with InTandem for three years.
What are your goals this year with InTandem?
I want to ride a century! A 100 mile ride!
What’s the longest ride you’ve ever ridden?
57 in Staten Island.
Tell me about your riding experience prior to InTandem.
I started to ride at the age of 10 and rode until I was 16. I lost my sight and could not continue to ride. I used to ride all day during the summer in Albania. I could do tricks, I could even ride on one wheel! I loved it.
What is your favorite thing about riding with InTandem?
Riding with another person is much more fun than riding by yourself. A long ride feels short when you’re getting to know somebody.
What was your favorite ride with InTandem?
The Donut Ride. We did it during the night and there was no traffic. We had the chance to go faster. And it’s fun to stop every 10 miles to eat a donut and chat with friends. And you get more energy when you eat donuts to continue for the next 10 miles.
Any other comments?
This is the first time I will be riding the Five Boro and I can’t wait!
I can’t ride on my own and I appreciate InTandem for giving me the chance to ride!
Jacob’s InTandem Story
I learned about InTandem through NY Cares a year ago, and I'm so glad I did! I love riding bikes and having conversations with interesting people, and it's especially exciting to get the opportunity to spend time with people who have life experiences wildly different from my own. InTandem is an opportunity for me to do both at the same time!
I'm a big fan of biking in Central Park, but I like exploring our city on two wheels even more. My favorite memory from InTandem is biking to the West Side and taking a ferry to New Jersey, and then heading down the West side of the Hudson to a boathouse. Once we got there we stepped off our bikes and into boats—I got to go out for a spin in an outrigger canoe and feel like Moana! To me InTandem is all about connecting with other people over a fun activity, and that day epitomizes this for me. But don't get me wrong, going for a spin around Central Park with a new friend on a crisp early Spring day is pretty amazing as well.
Jonathon’s InTandem Story
A close friend who is blind introduced me to InTandem in 2013. Being that I work for AHRCNYC serving adults with developmental disabilities, have my MA in disability studies, love to ride and my father owns a chain of bicycle stores (Marty’s Reliable Cycle), InTandem is a perfect fit! Over the past 6 years, I developed a thorough training for captains and stokers to ensure that our members ride safely and efficiently, planned or helped plan every ride InTandem has done, and helped build an inclusive community.
InTandem means together. I have met many of my close friends through InTandem. The warm, welcoming culture makes me feel safe, in my element and there is there is nowhere I’d rather be than with my InTandem family! Our members hang out together, go on vacations together, and for many, it’s their primary source of exercise and meeting people.
There are few accessible opportunities for people with disabilities to exercise or socialize and we provide both. And it does not get more inclusive for people with disabilities than being on the same bike as a member of the general public.
Many stokers I have trained have told me that they used to ride regularly and never thought they’d be able to experience the thrill and freedom of riding after acquiring a disability. And for many others InTandem has given provided their first cycling experience! Volunteer captains often tell me that they wouldn’t ride or exercise half as much if they didn’t have the InTandem community to join.
My favorite thing to do is train parents to ride with their children with high level needs. I’ve had individualized sessions with children with disabilities and their parents to ensure that they have all of the training and accommodations they need to have a great and safe time riding together. In some cases it has taken weeks or months of slow, gradual progress but now these families ride regularly ride together and it’s a way for them to share what they love and grow closer.
Please support me to continue to grow the InTandem family!
Video featuring Eris and Jonathon
What is InTandem?
InTandem is a 501c3 not-for-profit organization whose mission is to provide tandem cycling programs to people who are blind, have low vision, or cannot ride independently due to other disabilities. We provide the tandem bikes, equipment and training and coordinate all riding programs – all at no cost to InTandem members. Our Captains (that’s who rides in the front seat) are all experienced cyclists from the community who volunteer their time and energies to ride with our Stokers (the rider in the back).
InTandem has rides most Saturday mornings from 9:30AM to 12:30PM and most Thursday nights from 6:30PM to 9:00PM in Central Park. We also have InTandem Indoors spin classes every Wednesday night at the Asser Levy Parks and Recreation Center. InTandem organizes various other social and recreational events and longer bicycle tours every Sunday. Anyone is welcome to join InTandem and it is possible to organize additional rides for those who cannot make regular sessions.
For any questions about InTandem, please reach out to Matthew Nidek, Executive Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org or Jonathon Epstein, Director of Operations, at email@example.com.
Image Descriptions for Team Eris Page
Image 1 Description: Eris stands in Central Park with a trees and a pond behind him. He is wearing an Intandem windbreaker and a black baseball cap.
Image 2 Description: Jake stands with his bike on his shoulder atop a stump in a park.
Image 3 Description: Eris and Jonathon at the Boathouse restaurant.
Image 4 Description: Eris and Jonathon stand behind a black Cannondale mountain bike tandem. Eris wears an Albanian sports team jacket with a black baseball cap and Jonathon wears an InTandem windbreaker and a Marty’s Fat 50 winter hat.
Image 5 Description: Jake smiles as he rides his blue road bike down a paved trail in a park.
Image 6 Description: Jonathon teaches Quinn how to ride a tandem.
Image 7 Description: Susan Genis, Mick, Jordan and Jonathon stand behind the new InTandem banner, made by Wesley (Thank you Wesley!).
Image 8 Description: The InTandem team at the No Barriers Summit at the Intrepid.
Image 9 Description: Jonathon and Maria riding in last year’s Five Boro.