Le trialiste aveugle (2)

Blind Trials Rider (2)

Tuesday 21 July 2009
by Ben Swales
popularity : 5%

JPEG - 198.5 kb His last video (Blind Trials Rider! was impressive and demanded respect. It showed 28 year old American Matt Gilman riding street and natural, made all the more impressive by the fact that he’s... blind!

Matt’s vision stops about 30 centimetres from his face. Before riding an obstacle, he has to go over it on foot, with his hands or with his stick, he is unable to visually judge the height or distance of a jump or gap. When he perfoms a gap or a jump he can’t see the obstacle coming and has to hope each time that he has done everything right. Matt became blind a few years ago and had to give up trials riding for a long time. When he decided to get back into it he couldn’t even get his bike onto the back wheel and was forced to relearn everything, in a completely different way to how he learned the first time round!

Matt has just put his new video online. He has progrssed even further and links moves together with a seemingly impossible ease. He’s an example for us all! Matt makes his videos to prove to the world that handicaps can be overcome and that each of us has within us the strength and the motivation to do whatever it is that we want to do. And prove it he does, with an incredible determination that demands respect. We wish him all the best in his trials career!

Streaming:

Matt’s Story:

JPEG - 192.5 kb I am a ’blind’ trials rider. I have been riding for 6 years. In the spring of 2004 I noticed that I was having some difficulty seeing, so I went to the doctor and they told me that I had some diabetes related complications and I would need surgery. ooh yeah I forgot to mention that I was a diabetic. So anyway I have had about 22 eye surgeries in the past 4 years.

My retina in both eyes have detached. In my left eye my retina was repaired but it didn’t give me any vision back in that eye. In my right eye I had a small detachment of the retina, but luckly it was repaired and it gave me about 70% vision.

The doctor decided to put a silcone oil in my right eye to prevent blood vessels from growing where they shouldn’t be growing. With the oil in my eye it is like looking through a bottle of olive oil. Not only is the oil there but I have a milky/cloudyness on my cornia which is also blocking vision. If that was not enough I also have some fibers growing on the lens of my eye, also in the right. All of this is blocking my vision.

The doctor says that we might go back in for another surgery to clean up the fibers and to repair the cornia. He is not sure if he will remove the oil though. If this happens then I may get enough vision back to actually walk around on my own with no assistance, some what.

So my vision is so bad that I can’t walk around on my own. I also can’t see any obstacles that doesn’t have super contrast to it. When I ride rocks I can’t see pretty much any part of it as it blends in with the surroundings. Sometimes when I ride rocks I find it easier to ride with my eyes closed as to not let my mind think I see something that is not therre.

As it goes right now I have good friend support. They help me get out to ride my bike, and they also push me to improve.

So that is my story. If you have any questions feel free to pm me on ObservedTrials.net!

Matt.

Screenshots...

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