Tandem Tart Challenge

Mary and Darren out for a pre-race practice ride

I am the Tandem Tart, not your run of the mill name I agree but one that is attracting much attention and has seen me time trial on a tandem with 49 different Partners so far and a further 68 on my waiting list.  To date, I have raised £9,495 from this little pastime and my goal is to reach the £12,000 mark.  Let me tell you more!

Towards the end of 2013 I was diagnosed with ME (myalgic encephalomyelitis), a little known condition which affects approximately 250,000 men, women and children in the UK.  There is no treatment or cure.  Earlier that year I had competed on the back of a tandem at all distances including the Mersey Road Club 24 hour where we set a new National Veterans Age Record of 369.474 miles.  I will not dwell on the next year or so albeit to say that my life completely changed.  During those dark days I vowed that when I was well enough I would do all I could to raise awareness and embark on raising funds for medical research into this devastating condition.

So onto 2016, I was back in the saddle pedalling short distances and sort of managing my ME.  Now was the time to get the fundraising ‘wheels’ in motion.  The Tandem Tart Challenge was born, let’s see how many different tandem Partners I could race with during the year. To start with I had a list of four potential Partners.  As the season progressed and word continued to spread, I had people lining up to join the ‘Tart’ Club.  By the end of the season I had raced with 16 different Partners with an ever-increasing list of suiters, some of them had never been anywhere near a tandem before.  Just to name drop somewhat, I am delighted to say that Partner number 28 was none other than the legendary Jens Voigt, a ride which was truly memorable. 

On Sunday 31st March 2019 I will be celebrating riding with Partner number 50, none other than the former World and Paralympic Cycling Champion, Darren Kenny OBE who will be Piloting me round the P311 in the Bournemouth Jubilee Wheelers 10.  There will be plenty of cake so please come along and give us a cheer.  Thank you.

Mary Corbett

Sotonia CC