Blind Biker Has A Need For Speed
Every corner’s a blind bend for this blind biker.
But Stuart Gunn’s inability to see where he’s going has not prevented him from setting a new world speed record.
He became the fastest blind and disabled biker on the planet after hitting 167.1mph on Saturday.
His father, Geoff, rides alongside him and uses an intercom system to tell him if he is drifting off course or needs to brake.
‘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,’ said Stuart, from Edinburgh.
‘I have ridden for years with my dad and so it worked really well.’
In 2002, Stuart Gunn was heading to a hospital for a pre-op on his shoulder. To avoid parking troubles, he decided to ride his bike instead of taking a car. At a junction in Edinburgh, Scotland, a van jumped lanes and crashed into the experienced biker. “When the van hit me, the base of my back hit where the windscreen and roof join. My head and shoulders went through the sunroof and my legs went through the windscreen, literally snapping me in half backwards. He then braked, as you might, and I got lobbed back out of the van,” Gunn remembered in an interview with Suzuki Bulletin. He nearly died, and doctors told him he was never going to walk, let alone ride a motorcycle again. But Stuart had always hated being told what he could and could not do, so he worked hard during his recuperation sessions, and in two years time he was walking with a stick. 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.
Most people would have given up the fight, but not Stuart. He fought hard, and eventually regained 40% feeling in his right arm. He still couldn’t feel his legs, but it was enough for him to get back on a motorcycle. But he didn’t just decide he was going to ride again, but that he was going to set a new world record. Stuart had heard about the World Land Speed Record for being blind and disabled set by Billy Baxter, who is also blind, and reckoned he could best it. Despite injuring his shoulder, he remained determined and on Saturday, he arrived at Elvington Airfield in North Yorkshire, ready to make history. He had to battle crosswinds while trying to push a Suzuki Hayabusa to over 164mph (the former record), and he managed to do just that, setting a new world speed record of 167.1mph.
Mr Gunn battled crosswinds to beat the previous fastest time of 164mph at Elvington Airfield in North Yorkshire.
‘I’m absolutely ecstatic and I don’t think the news has quite sunk in,’ he said.