“CanVelo” is Israel Guide Dog Center’s unique tandem biking club

The club’s objective is to provide blind and visually impaired Israelis the opportunity to enjoy the thrill, speed, and camaraderie of cycling. CanVelo club also seeks to build public awareness of the needs of the blind and visually and the work the Israel Guide Dog Center for the Blind.

The name “CanVelo” has several meanings:

  • “Can Velo” in Hebrew means “Yes and No” – referring to riders who can and cannot see,

  • “Velo” in biking lingo means “bicycle”, and

  • the group’s motto is “Yes we Can!”

Israeli CanVelo Cycling Clubs – Ten Years of Riding Together
The CanVelo tandem biking club was established 10 years ago by Brigadier-General (Ret) Moti Regev with 1 tandem bike. Now the group boasts 80 members, 26 of whom are blind or visually impaired. CanVelo organizes weekly on- and off-road trips several times each year.

How does Tandem Cycling with Blind Riders Work?

Each team includes a sighted rider in the front (the captain) and a blind rider in the back (the stoker) . The captain is responsible for steering the bike, shifting gears, braking, and directing the bike along the route. The 2 riders work together to balance and propel the bike and are in constant communication. The captain informs the stoker of approaching turns or stops, often describing the passing scenery and surroundings. Each captain is responsible for the safety of his or her blind partner throughout the ride, both on and off the bike.

CanVelo biking excursions are challenging, requiring significant cycling skill and technique that would offer a challenge to any professional experienced cyclist.

Riding Without Seeing and with Total Trust

For a blind person, riding a tandem bicycle entails placing total trust in the sighted captain. In many ways, it is similar to the total trust between guide dog handlers and their dogs.

Switching gears

Since the outbreak of the war with Gaza that began on October 7th, 2023, donations to the CanVelo initated a project to provide refurbished or new mountain and road bikes to the released hostages, survivors of the massacre, and Israeli refugees who have had to relocate from their home. To date over 3,000 bikes have been distributed.

The bikes provide significant psychological and physical benefits to the recipients who are very grateful for the bikes.
The bikes are an incredible gift for kids providing them with renewed freedom and a great distraction from their circumstances.

The program is staffed entirely by volunteers. 100% of your donation goes directly to provide refurbished an dnew bikes .