Here in the motorcycle community proper, we are a diverse group of weirdos that all share one thing in common: we all love motorcycles.
We love the whoosh of wind past our respective selves, we love the freedom of riding anywhere, and we love the camaraderie that comes with being part of the two-wheeled industry.
So what happens when a motorcyclist loses their eyesight?
If you think blindness means the end of the road for a biker, you’d be wrong.
This new documentary tells the incredible story of a blind motorcyclist named Ben Felton – a 51-year old man who experienced degenerative eye disease in his earlier years.
Aired by Operation CAP 48 (a Belgian organization founded in 1957 that raises funds for people with disabilities) and supported by Yamaha, PositivelyScottish states that the documentary – christened “Dark Rider” – covers Felton as he fulfills his childhood dream: to take part in a motorcycle race across Lake Gairdner, a salt lake in the South East of Australia, in an attempt to, “beat the world track speed record and become the fastest blind motorcycle rider in the world.”
Directed by Eva Küpper and backed in the documentary by former Grand Prix champion Kevin Magee, we follow Felton as he reaches for what seems to be an impossible battle through insurmountable odds.
“I myself have a passion for motorcycles and speed,” states Eva Küpper.
“I rode circuits all over Europe. In 2014, while I was riding a circuit in England, a friend showed me a newspaper article about a blind motorcyclist in Scotland who had just broken a speed record. I know what speed is, and I couldn’t imagine it would be possible to drive without looking; it was amazing. I met him, but he was not ready to make the film. A few years later, he told me about a blind Australian who was training to break his record and was going to run a race. I called my producer, and we said, ‘Okay, let’s go!’.”
“It is unimaginable to see a blind man on a motorcycle trying to break a speed record. I love the idea of Ben pushing those boundaries. It can arouse cravings in others. You can flourish by chasing your dreams; this is true for people with disabilities but really for everyone. After the screening, someone told me: ‘I’m not as handicapped as Ben, but if he can follow his dreams, so am I.’ It gives hope and inspiration to people, and I really love it.”