Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Blind and Disabled Biker Sets New World Land Speed Record

 Every corner’s a blind bend for this motorcyclist.

Stuart Gunn is a blind motorcyclist but the inability to see where he’s going has not prevented him from setting a new World Land Speed Record.  In 2002, Scottish biker Stuart Gunn was involved in a horrific accident that left him paralyzed from the waist down.  With determination and drive Stuart fought back and within 2 years was walking with a cane.  Unfortunately, the accident had caused more damage than anyone had realized, and in 2008 he started having really bad seizures which eventually left him completely blind and paralyzed on his right side.  Again Stuart worked hard with his never say die attitude and was able to regain 40% feeling in his right arm but none of his eyesight was restored.

Photo: Suzuki Bulletin

For most people the highs and lows of life would be too much but last Saturday Stuart became the fastest blind man on a motorcycle, after hitting a speed of 167.1mph.  Riding a Suzuki Hayabusa in Elvington Airfield in North Yorkshire Gunn made history and took the World Land Speed Record away from Billy Baxter.  Just how does a blind man ride a motorcycle, the answer is simple with his Dad.  Yes Stuart’s father (Geoff) rides alongside him and uses an intercom system to let him know when he needs to steer and brake, swerve and go straight.  Basically, keeping him on 2 wheels and moving forward.  After setting the new World Record Stuart has this to say  “I hope this proves to people that just because you are blind or have a disability, doesn’t mean it should change or limit your life.”  (Very well said)
Photo: Ross Parry

Not only did Stuart set a new Land Speed Record but he also managed to raise much-needed funds for a number of charities that he feels very strongly about.  And if setting a World  Land Speed Record  /  raising money for charities is not enough get this, Stuart wants to ride a lap at the Isle of Man TT Race.  The IOMTT is one of the most prestigious motorcycle events in the world. I cannot express how difficult and scary this event is so much that this type of racing is outlawed here in the USA.  Stuart dreamed of this as a child and feels it is still possible, his disabilities will not limit him.  “I want to do the TT, definitely. That’s my main goal; I love it,” he says. “I think maybe a year or year and half to figure out the entire track to get safely round. Being in the dark makes it easy for me to work things out, so I can concentrate on learning that and aim for 2014 hopefully.”  I wish him nothing but luck and will be looking for this to happen.

No comments:

Post a Comment