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Freedom! Veterans with vision problems back in the saddle 

Scottish War Blinded has teamed up with Cycling UK to get visually impaired on their bikes.

A charity is helping partially sighted military veterans the chance to get back in the saddle with tandem cycling sessions.

Cycling UK is working on the project with the Scottish War Blinded and veterans who attend its Linburn Centre in West Lothian.

For some, it's the first time many of them have got on a bike for years.

Bryce Campbell used to be a keen cyclist, but after losing his sight to glaucoma 20 years ago he never thought he'd be back in the saddle.

"It's just been so fantastic to get back on a bike again because I so missed it when this dreaded lurgy hit me and damaged my sight," the 84-year-old says.

"It's low-level flying, once you get back on a bike again, you never forget. It's not like a car, you're out in the fresh air, the wind in your face and you feel it going through your hair - well what hair you've got left.

"It's just such a wonderful feeling of freedom."

'You're out in the fresh air, the wind in your face and you feel it going through your hair - well what hair you've got left.'
Bryce Campbell

For Ted Edmington, an army medic in his younger years, the project allows him to reconnect with cycling but also with other people

"Socially, meeting some of the other lads, were all in the same boat really, some of them have sight more than others," he said.

David Glover from Cycling UK says the scheme is helping people to exercise who may not have had the opportunity before due to their vision.

"Cycling is one of these things where it's one of these real memorable things, they learn to ride when they're younger," he explains.

"Maybe they've not ridden for a long time, especially with a vision impairment and not being able to do it so safely.

"So having the opportunity to go on the back of a tandem with a pilot, get up that speed and no matter what their age, ability, background, condition, there is a bike, there is a cycle that someone can use."

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