A FEARLESS superbike rider who broke his spine in a motorcycle accident has shown that his disability is no obstacle to achieving his dreams.
Paraplegic Barry Kaighin, 56, is a regular visitor to the Anglesey Circuit - Trac Môn - at Ty Croes, and was one of 50 riders who attended track training days with British Super Bike celebrity Jamie Whitham and other BSB Superbike and Isle of Man TT instructors, on Tuesday, July 4 and Wednesday, July 5.
Manx man Barry has no feeling from his chest down, but is able to ride a specially adapted Aprilia V4 superbike.
Instructor Jamie Whitham, 50, is an English former professional motorcycle racer and well known super bike race commentator. He has raced in most major British and international championships, winning the British championship twice.
Jamie, from Huddersfield, is also a regular at the Anglesey circuit, and showed his own determination during the training. He was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in May and is currently undergoing chemotherapy
“You’ve just got to get on with it, you can’t let it hold you back. I’m just getting on with life. I’m here to help people learn and improve their riding.”
“All credit to Barry. He doesn’t let anything stop him enjoying his motorcycling. He has adapted his equipment and he just gets out there. He’s is good too, fast, up there with the quicker intermediate riders, he doesn’t hang about.”
Barry, who also has a pilots’ licence, said: “Before my accident I loved riding and afterwards I was desperate to get back on a bike, but I had broken my spine and now have no feeling from the chest down.
“I can use my arms, but with the adaptations on my bike, and help from my friends, Danny Flynn and Colin Cripps,I am able to ride. I would encourage others with disabilities, definitely it is still as much a thrill as it ever was.”
Barry’s bike has a manual gear change and his feet are held in place with toe clips. Velcro on the tank help keep his legs in position.
“I sit a little higher than usual riders, but that is all, it’s still an amazing feeling to be out there riding, but If my friends weren’t there waiting for me when I come to a stop, I’d go flat on my face!”
Another instructor at the training day was professional British Super Bike (BSB) trainer Jenny Tinmouth. Jenny, 38, is a female Isle of Man TT lap record holder, breaking the record during her first ever TT in 2009.
“We always enjoy coming to Anglesey. I started my racing career here. It doesn’t bother me being a few women in the sport, I love it, and I am just treated like one of the lads!”
The other instructors over the two days were James Westmoreland, Taylor Mackenzie, Dean Harrison and Steve Brogan.
Pictures by KERRY ROBERTS