Artie lost most of his vision due to retinitis pigmentosa at the age of 47. His vision loss forced him into an early retirement, and motivated Artie and his wife to move to New York City. Adapting to a new lifestyle was necessary, but Artie was not prepared to give up on biking and running. Artie joined Achilles International where he eventually started the Achilles Tandem Program.
“There really isn’t anything as rewarding as feeling the terrain of the road and the smell and sounds of the world as you ride throughit. These are feelings that I have rediscovered through the joys of tandem biking.“ -Artie Elefant
When the Achilles program came to an end, Artie was determined to fill the void for a disabled community eagerly waiting to get out and ride again. InTandem was born.
On June 5th 2013, Artie lost his battle to lymphocytic leukemia while surrounded by his loving family. He is missed by many, but his spirit for adventure will live on in every tandem ride.
Arthur "Artie" Elefant 1945-2013 by Dina Fine
Your "vision" is spreading around Central Park, Artie, even though you lost your sight more than twenty years ago. Every time I ever get on a bike, I hear your voice and feel your presence. You were the only person that I ever rode with on a tandem bike. You trusted me even though you fell off a few times while I was guiding you. You taught me how to ride a tandem and be a captain when you created the Achilles Tandem program in 2005. After the Achilles program had to end, you dreamed of the InTandem organization. Despite being so sick, you created the meetings. Now visually impaired individuals are riding Saturday mornings in Central Park because of you. Thank you, Artie. With love, one of your many guides and friends.