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Richt1

Visually impaired trials riding - advice needed

9 posts in this topic

Hi all,

I'm hoping someone can give me some advice/help concerning the following.

I have ridden road bikes for over 20 years but 6 weeks ago had an operation to have a brain tumour removed.  The tumour was in the visual part of the brain and the surgery means that I no longer have any peripheral vision on my right hand side.  Sadly the vision loss applies to both eyes and so I can no longer hold a DVLA licence.

The impairment means that I can't see anything to my right hand side which is frustrating because whilst I can physically ride a bike, I can't perceive hazards approaching thus it is too dangerous for me to either ride on a road or ride in close proximity to other moving vehicles.

Ironically, I had been looking at how to start some off road riding, however, recent events have obviously spurred that on.

In essence, I'm trying to find out if it is possible to start trials riding without either a DVLA or an ACU licence.

Thanks for your help,
Rich

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best speak to the licensing department of the acu - they have a medical panel of doctors who handle "challenges" like this

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As I understand it, there is no licence required to do AMCA trials, in which case licencing shouldn't be a problem.

I imagine you will have to give it a try to find out if your vision impairment is a real problem or not. I could imagine you having to move your head around more than other people would, and perhaps you will end up with your head turned slightly to the right so that you do have some vision to the right of centre-line (at the expense of the extreme end of your leftward peripheral vision). You may find that having a "minder" with you would help.

In some ways I think you might have to be more careful in using a practice area than when competing on an event. In a trial you know that you have the section to yourself. But in a practice area you have no idea whether someone else might suddenly pop out of the trees on your right.

I really hope this works out for you. On the face of it, I think you have hit on the best chance you've got of continuing on two wheels. Good luck!

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It's not quite the same thing but there are plenty of monocular trials riders, so full vision would not appear to be an absolute necessity for successful trials riding.  Perhaps you could try cycling on rough terrain to see how you feel before investing in a trials bike?

Technically, I think ACU rules call for a road licence but I'm sure there must be official ways round this.  

 

Edited by 2stroke4stroke

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I see you're 'Midlands', I'm on the S Yorks/N Derbys/ N Notts border, I'd be more than happy to let you try one of my bikes to see if it's do-able....

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I really hope this works out for you , and that you can still enjoy motorcycling through riding Trials in the future.

I cant really add anything to what others have already said,  

other than - have you cleared this with your doctor ?

wearing a crash helmet and possibly falling off and hitting your head 6 weeks after surgery may not be recommended while you are healing

( you know what doctors are like :) }

good luck , and maybe post an update when you have had a go

 

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11 hours ago, 2stroke4stroke said:

Technically, I think ACU rules call for a road licence but I'm sure there must be official ways round this.  

 

The ACU questionnaire" ask about your vision, and thus you'ld have to answer its affected. it doesn't require your to have a road bike licence (many, many people don't including all youth!). for example down here in the south east, Ian Allaway has been a trials passengers for as long as i've been alive (and he is blind). the idea of the "rules" is not be awkward but to be safe for the rider and those riding with them, there is a much greater risk in riskier bits of the sport (road race, mx, etc) so the medical requirements are tighter there.

what ever way it goes, good luck!

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Thanks all for the help.  I'll have to speak to some rules/decision makers I guess.

I wasn't sure if it was something which could be done without competing or where I would stand insurance wise.

Spent, once I get a few bits figured out, I may well take you up on that offer.

Thanks guys,

Rich

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3 hours ago, Richt1 said:

I wasn't sure if it was something which could be done without competing or where I would stand insurance wise.

That's a much more difficult question. If the practice (ie not competing) is insured by the ACU the riders need to have an ACU trials affiliation (ie licence) - which requires you to go down that medical route

now other places do private practice without any insurance or insurance via another provider or through another federation. The places with any insurance (that is worth anything) would/should be asking the same basic medical questions the ACU is. However there are still many places without insurance to try, but as others have said exercise caution for not just you but the other riders around you

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