Keep Your Eyes On The Road Not
October 22, 2010 4:55 PM   Subscribe

Visually impaired people are riding bicycles. Andreas Bocelli rides a bicycle. And then there's this.
posted by Xurando (8 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Weird; I was working on an fpp about Bobby McMullen who's a legally blind downhill rider, but I'll just add some links here:

90 second trailer

Bobby's site

I don't have any disabilities and am lucky enough to have the kind of robust good health that allows me to undertake most any adventure I decide to. Accounts of people who aren't so fortunate and decide to go for it despite the challenges really move me.

Thanks for this.
posted by dolface at 5:17 PM on October 22, 2010

Well, its probably a good thing they can't see what they are doing - it might make them not commit to some of the things they are doing. The fact that they find the edges of the objects so they can reorient their bikes by effectively driving off them (ever so slightly) is ridiculous.
posted by Nanukthedog at 5:48 PM on October 22, 2010

They got nuthin' on Bowen and Tripp.
posted by Mike D at 6:03 PM on October 22, 2010 [2 favorites]

I once saw a TV show where they were training a blind woman to ride based on a sonar system, literally. A beep-pulse would be emitted, and she'd listen for a reflection to know if there was an object in her path.

It was so surreal.. I almost feel like I imagined it :P
posted by Chuckles at 12:52 AM on October 23, 2010

This might be the system...
posted by Chuckles at 12:54 AM on October 23, 2010

Stationary bike + oscillating fan = problem solved
posted by Aquaman at 8:59 AM on October 23, 2010

I was going to post a link to the Bay Area Roaming Tandems, who've been doing this for years, but found out that they've disbanded. Aww.

Somewhat related, in Golden Gate Park I once saw a blind guy on rollerblades being towed by a woman on a bicycle, like he was water-skiing. The rope was only a few feet long so he didn't go whipping around, and the woman would turn around and yell "Bump!" or whatever as needed, and it looked like a lot of fun.
posted by Quietgal at 10:18 AM on October 23, 2010

Weirdly coincidental - earlier this evening, before reading this, I watched a recording of an episode of Horizon (a UK science kind of program) that had a section about a guy who'd lost his sight as a young toddler; he'd taught himself to navigate using sonar-esque clicks of his tongue, interpreting the echo return... and was able to ride a bike unaccompanied. Very impressive, albeit a little unnerving.
posted by Chunder at 1:58 PM on October 24, 2010

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