‘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
“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