'Blind bloke' Nigel breaks another record
Partially-sighted Nigel Limb, of Sutton on Sea, lost most of his sight in a motorcycle racing accident in 2015 which left him fighting for his life and in a coma for 11 days.
He can now only see silhouettes and colours in good light, but this setback has not prevented him from living life to the max.
He has already set the speed record for unassisted visually impaired rider from a standing start over a distance of an eighth of a mile - riding at a top speed of a staggering 76 miles per hour – last year.
And now, he has broken the same record but on an electric motorcycle, this time topping 83mph in just 8.74 seconds, at an event at Melborne Raceway in York on Saturday May 28.
Nigel discovered electric motorbike racing last year and decided to try and break this record as well, and reached out to a couple of electric motorcycle owners to ask for assistance.
He received an affirmative reply from Ryan Duffy, from Redditch, who agreed to help and the pair met for the first time at Melborne Raceway.
"That was the first time I met Ryan, and sat on the bike,” Nigel said, “And it was totally different from riding a petrol bike as the feel of the bike as you change gear is a good sense for you to increase speed, but an electric cycle is totally different – that plus not being able to see properly meant two of my senses were compromised.
"I was also worried that this was a total strangers’ pride and joy so I had to get it right.”
Nigel also recalls a poignant moment leading up to the event when he sold a car to a man on Facebook who recognised Nigel, and confided in him that his two-year-old daughter was blind as she was born with cancer in her eyes.
"That completely pole-axed me,” Nigel said, “I got him tickets to the speed record and met him and his daughter. I saw her running her fingers all over my bike and building up a picture of the bike in her mind – it was such a serendipitous moment for me.
"I really hope by meeting me, I’ve given the family and other people hope that you can live a full life even without your sight.
"If I could take one thing from the weekend, it’s that little girl touching my motorbike, it was so heart-warming.”
All participants are given a randomly-generated race number on the day, anything between one and 999.
In a twist of fate, Nigel was given the race number 122 – the same number his father, who sadly died of Covid in 2020, used when he raced in his youth.