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Blind bike rider is a sight to behold

by: PHOTO BY: RAYMOND RENDLEMAN - Greg Krolicki, who is blind, shares a tandem bike with with Jack Newlevant. Bill Wayne joins them along the Springwater Corridor for most of their year-round Thursday rides that have covered thousands of miles over the past few years.Oak Grove resident Greg Krolicki has turned lots of heads as he makes his way through Milwaukie during his weekly ride to Happy Valley.

A white cane is strapped to the tandem bike he shares with Jack Newlevant.

Bill Wayne, whose wife is Krolicki’s dance instructor, joins Krolicki and Newlevant for most of their year-round Thursday rides that have covered thousands of miles during the past few years.

Krolicki, 60, lost his eyesight from glaucoma in the 1990s, but he hasn’t let it slow him.

“I can do pretty much anything that anybody else can do,” he said. “It’s more annoying than anything else.”

In their many conversations while cycling, Krolicki says he’s benefited greatly from Newlevant’s knowledge of computers and is always fascinated with Wayne’s experiences as a vintner.

“Yes, there is no end to the tech talk on cycling for the three of us,” Krolicki said.

Krolicki and his wife, Allison, are members and elected officers of the Milwaukie Elks Lodge and have participated vigorously with the membership’s recent attempts to spur the lodge’s recovery. They will celebrate their first marriage anniversary this month. The couple’s “Footloose Friends” dance parties and “Eye Boogie” fundraisers are not official Elks functions, although they rent the Lodge Room as a venue for both events.

Krolicki met Newlevant about four years ago through a mutual dancing friend.

“Besides sharing an intense interest in partner dancing, we both used to compete in bike racing and now love to ride longer distances at a more gentlemanly pace, punctuated by stops for food, drink and (yet more) conversation,” Newlevant said.

Wayne doesn’t dance, but his dance-instructor wife, Julia, says that Krolicki is a really good dancer.

“Jack and Greg are really great guys, and it is a fantastic story,” Wayne said. “And what a gift it is to Greg to get out and have an adventure like that...otherwise I wonder how he’d get to pursue his passion for bikes.”




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