‘I thought I’d never ride again’

Talan Skeels-pig­gins set up the world’s first mo­tor­cy­cle train­ing school for disabled rid­ers af­ter a life-chang­ing ac­ci­dent

Motorcycle News (UK) - - This Week -

“I was knocked off my mo­tor­bike in 2003 and paral­ysed from the chest down. At the time I thought I’d never ride again. But eight years ago I de­cided to buy a bike in se­cret – as my mum and dad didn’t want me to ride again. I adapted the bike and tried to ride it on a dis­used air­field. I only lasted five min­utes be­fore fall­ing over. But those five min­utes changed ev­ery­thing.

“I went to the Cas­tle Combe and the in­struc­tors showed me how to get on the bike, fix in, launch and stop. That track­day was in­cred­i­ble. It was this amaz­ing feel­ing of free­dom where I could com­pletely for­get about my dis­abil­ity. Im­por­tantly, I got my pas­sion back.

“That’s when I de­cided to start up The Bike Ex­pe­ri­ence. I wanted to help other peo­ple in the same po­si­tion who still think it’s im­pos­si­ble to ride. We started off teach­ing paral­ysed peo­ple. There was noth­ing out there for them to get on two wheels. We now help any­one with any dis­abil­ity, from triple am­putees to those with vi­sion im­pair­ment.

“In the last six years we’ve taught 250 peo­ple. Some of those were bik­ers be­fore while some had never even touched a bike. Oth­ers just came to prove to them­selves that they could do it. Now these peo­ple are rid­ing on the road again, do­ing track­days and have race li­cences.

“The most im­por­tant thing is this ex­pe­ri­ence shows peo­ple the choices re­main theirs; dis­abil­ity hasn’t taken the choices away.

“We’re a char­ity or­gan­i­sa­tion and don’t charge any­one to come along. Ev­ery­one here is a vol­un­teer, we bring the bikes and equip­ment and sim­ply en­cour­age peo­ple to come.”

rid­ing Talan reignited his pas­sion for six years af­ter a paralysing ac­ci­dent Visit www.tbex.co.uk for more info. Talan’s Bike Ex­pe­ri­ence has got 250 peo­ple on bikes

R ninet range won’t ex­pand, but it’s likely 800cc mod­els will

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