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Tandem acts of kindness

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Chelsi Bannister has taken many happy rides with the family on their three-seater pedal bike. Now she's hoping it will help take her to medical school.

Miss Bannister's mother, Deeanda Bannister recently made the tough decision to auction off the unusual tandem bike to help raise money to send Chelsi to Spelmen College in Atlanta, Georgia. The auction finishes tomorrow.

“I have a lot of great memories with that bike,” said Miss Bannister, 18. “But, it hasn't been used as much lately as it should be and I would rather have someone else get some use out of it.”

She said the first ride she took on it with her mother and younger sister Britney was through the tracks in Somerset when she was around 15 years old.

“We weren't nervous the first time we rode it,” she said. “I was more in awe that there was something like that. It is different to just going on a single-seater bike. In this case, you are all together on it, and everyone looks at you. A three-seater tandem bike is a rare thing to see in Bermuda.”

Mrs Bannister said the maroon Raleigh bike was purchased from an American family who had it for many years.

“They were selling their home and heading back to New York,” said Mrs Bannister. “The bike had been in their family for years. Their children are adults now.”

Mrs Bannister didn't know the exact age of the bike but thought it could be classified as vintage. She guessed it was made in the 1960s. She said it is in very good condition.

She said it is not difficult riding together on the bike, because everyone pulls their own weight. Surprisingly, she didn't think it was difficult for one person to ride the bike.

“I've done it, and the weight feels the same,” she said. “My children don't really want to part with it, but we are back and forth from overseas and we are not getting a lot of use out of it. I don't think it is good to have it in storage for a long time. I would like another deserving family who has young children to use it.”

Mrs Bannister said the bike gave them a lot of joy. They particularly loved riding the Bermuda Railway Trail on it, but think anywhere in Bermuda is beautiful.

“It is gorgeous to be out riding together,” said Mrs Bannister. “It is so refreshing with the breeze blowing through. The bike is a novelty. Every time we take it out, tourists take pictures. In the past, we have had offers to sell it, but at the time I wasn't interested.”

Miss Bannister recently finished her Associates in Science degree, and is now excited to be working towards her Bachelor's in science before going off to medical school. She wants to specialise in the field of women's health. “Most children go from wanting to do one profession to another, but medicine has always been lingering in my mind,” said Miss Bannister.

“I enjoy taking care of people. It is a profession where I will be doing something new every single day. I don't like doing things that are the same all the time. With medicine I will always be learning something.”

The starting price for the bike is $1,500. Interested parties can make a bid by e-mailing longcorner@gmail.com or by calling 1-441-777-0507 between 10am and 3pm.

The bidding will close at 11pm tomorrow.

Chelsi Bannister, 18, on the Bannister family's beloved tandem bike which they are auctioning off to help pay for Chelsi's college tuition.
Ready to Ride: The Bannister family's three seater tandem bike on Somerset Bridge. The family is auctioning off the unusual bike to pay for their daughter Chelsi Bannister's college tuition.

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Published July 23, 2014 at 9:00 am (Updated July 22, 2014 at 10:56 pm)

Tandem acts of kindness

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