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A close friend of mine is going blind, rapidly. He has always been an outdoorsy person, with backpacking and playing paintball being two of his favorite activities. His eyesight is so bad now he can no longer read a computer screen or even dial a cell phone.

I had the idea of taking him on bike trips with me as a passenger, as a way to let him get back out to experience the outdoors at least in some fashion or another.

Has anyone else carried a blind passenger? What are the factors you need to consider? Is it really any different than carrying someone else? I'd imagine it would be helpful to have a helmet-to-helmet intercomm system so at least the pilot could describe where they are and perhaps alert them to upcoming stops or curves or whatever.

Thoughts?
 

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The "Motorcycle Ride Volunteer Network" might have helped, but they don't appear to be around anymore. They matched riding volunteers to handicapped/disabled passengers for just the kind of thing you described.
 

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awesome

your awesome.... he will enjoy it....
 

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Thats awesome! I new a couple the husband was blind they road a tandem bicycle all over the place. Make sure you have a way of communicating with your friend to let him know whats going on.
 

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I'd imagine it would be helpful to have a helmet-to-helmet intercomm system so at least the pilot could describe where they are and perhaps alert them to upcoming stops or curves or whatever.

Thoughts?
I'd think this would be crucial.

It can be challenging enough with inexperienced passengers who are sighted.
 

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There was a post, I can't remember where, it was on ADVRider or Pashnit, where a lady who was blind offered to buy someone a 1200gs so they could go riding together. I think the story went that she had gone with her husband for many years and he passed-away and was looking for someone to take her riding a couple times a month in exchange for a free bike because she missed it so much. My memory may be a little foggy on it, but it goes something like that.

I think you and your friend will have a great time together.
 

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You could translate upcoming curves by shifting your weight from side to side before the curve happens. I think as the two of you ride together you will both be able to anticipate what the other is about to do. I have a friend who is legally blind but still sighted at least to some small extent. Motorcycling is an awesome way to experience life. It would be even more excellent for someone who is blind.
 

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A close friend of mine is going blind, rapidly. He has always been an outdoorsy person, with backpacking and playing paintball being two of his favorite activities. His eyesight is so bad now he can no longer read a computer screen or even dial a cell phone.

There are ways for him to do the things you mentioned above. Contact me for details.

I am a blind passenger, and ride on motorcycles when the opportunity is available. IN my area it is difficult because folks just don't want to give rides.
Just today I rode with a gentleman who said he would do it today, but not again. He simply didn't want to ride two-up unless it was his wife. The way I understand it, this is a common attitude most motorcycle riders share.
I get a lot of excuses why people don't want to give me rides in this area, but if I go to other places rides are easy to get.
The important thing for the passenger is to learn to folow the bike. You don't have to do anything different than you would if you had a sighted person on the bike. If the blind person wishes to hold on to you, let them do so. You can tell if the bike is slowing down, speeding up, or stopping by the movement of the lower body. The upper body is your guide for turning.

I had the idea of taking him on bike trips with me as a passenger, as a way to let him get back out to experience the outdoors at least in some fashion or another.
If you feel comfortable giving your friend a ride, justt do it!
I wish I knew people in my area who have an attitude like you have. Not only does riding give me enjoyment, but it also relieves my other physical disability.
My contact information is below, if anyone wants more information about this topic.
Matt Roberts
Port Orange Florida
386-405-0328
[email protected]
 

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scary

I can't imagine how helpless and claustraphobic I would feel if I lost my sight. I would soldier on, like we all would, because thats what life is about, and the alternatives suck.

But damn, I have been going through a tough 18 months, broke, unemployed, looking for work (just got done with school). Sometimes I've been whiny, bitchy, and feeling sorry for myself.

For whatever reason, this kind of struck me - you know, tragedy and misfortune can strike at anytime. We are all so lucky to be able to ride.

It has reminded me to acknowledge what I am blessed with and grateful for - I have been trying to start a habit of writing down 5 things I am grateful for everyday. Tonight I'm writing "Good Eyesight".​
 

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Discussion Starter #13
It has reminded me to acknowledge what I am blessed with and grateful for - I have been trying to start a habit of writing down 5 things I am grateful for everyday. Tonight I'm writing "Good Eyesight".​
"Every day you wake up able to draw breath and wipe your own ass unassisted is a good day." - Anonymous

If I lost my eyesight, no longer being able to ride would probably be my biggest grief.
 

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If I lost my eyesight, no longer being able to ride would probably be my biggest grief.
If (God forbid) you should lose your sight, you might learn how important some trivial things become and how trivial some imoprtant things become. I would expect riding would fall well below seeing my children and eventual grand children.

Me and my family raised several dogs for Guiding Eyes for the Blind (see avatar) and met many visually impaired folks. Some were blind from birth and others gradually lost their sight. Losing sight is quite literally a life-changing experience which can completely re-organize your priorities in unexpected ways.

It's amazing and inspiring to see how people can adapt to this and many other disabilities. Seeing a dog I raised from a goofy pup lead a young woman confidently through a crowded room and into traffic made me realize the untapped potential in all of us, and our pets.

Give your buddy a ride, brief him on leaning, braking and acceleration - get a comm system and have a great time. You'll probably benefit more from the experience than he will.
 
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