A BLIND and disabled biker is planning to set a new world record – by driving his motorcycle at 170mph.
Stuart Gunn, who almost died in a motorbike smash and lost his sight shortly afterwards, hopes to set a new solo land speed record for a blind person.
The 38-year-old from Edinburgh is now organising to “borrow” a runway and find four friends who will ride alongside him on the record bid.
The biker hopes his assault on the world record will inspire other blind people to challenge themselves, and raise money for charity.
Ten years ago, the biker was nearly killed after he collided with a van which changed lanes suddenly.
“Half of my body went through the sunroof, the other half through the windscreen,” he said. “Five of the people who came to help that day had to go to hospital to be treated for shock because they thought they’d witnessed a man dying.
“I remember lying there on the road thinking I could either give up there and then, or fight and carry on living.”
Stuart’s crash happened as he travelled to hospital for a check-up on an injury sustained in a previous road accident.
As he recovered from the second crash, Stuart suffered a series of falls which sparked a neurological condition which caused years of fits and seizures.
And then, in 2008, blindness struck. He recalled: “There was one day I was supposed to be moving room, it was really busy. People were packing things in plastic bags, and that noise has always really frazzled my brain.
“Well it happened again, except this time the seizure lasted two hours. When I came round, everything was black and I’ve not been able to see anything since.”
The former engineer would love to go back to work and hopes the speed challenge will demonstrate to others that he is still capable.
He said: “Apparently when people go blind they go through a sort of grieving period of about three to four years.”
Paying tribute to the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB), he added: “Well the RNIB, who have really given me my life back, said mine lasted three to four days.
“I just decided I could go in the huff about what life has given me, or get on with it.”
The current record stands at 164mph and was set by former soldier Billy Baxter in 2003.
Stuart, who plans his attempt for the summer, said: “I think I can do it, it’s certainly worth a try.”
A spokesman for RNIB Scotland said: “Stuart’s efforts to raise funds for RNIB, as well as the example he sets, will help us support other people with sight loss to find fulfilment and a life in which they can still aspire to personal ambitions.”