What began as a lunch discussion between a blind attorney who was a United States Marine and a retired US Naval Officer who happens to ride motorcycles has evolved into a motorcycle event that has taken off like a fighter jet…
The purpose of this rising organization and event is to engage with blind and visually impaired veterans and provide a day of riding motorcycles, socializing, food, and tons of beautiful memories.
The Viper Ride promises to be a major event, even though it is still early in its development.
Sunday Morning this first-of-its-kind motorcycle ride took off from Milwaukee with 48 visually impaired veterans, arrived in East Troy for a lunchtime pit stop, and rode back to Milwaukee in the late afternoon. The total distance of the ride was around 110 miles. That might not seem like something impressive to the average biker, but to this group, it wasn’t so much about the miles as it was about the feeling.
Those senses experienced this: the sound of a revving engine, the smell of exhaust, and the feel of a helmet on your head…87-year-old Herb Kent’s head in this case.
He’s from Manitowoc, he’s a Korean War veteran, and he also happens to have macular degeneration.
“The center of my eye is gone. I’ve got side vision,” Kent said. “It’s probably 20 years since I drove a motorcycle.”
He was among company at East Troy’s Village Hall where 47 other veterans with vision issues also work with their “pilots”.
“Pilot” is the term used for motorcycle drivers. The veterans are referred to a “tailgunners” hinting at their position on the bike.
Check out this video:
And one extra note about the ride’s name: VIPER. It’s not just a cool mascot – it actually stands for ‘visually impaired patriots experiencing the road’.
Organizers are already planning their second annual ride for next summer. If you want to know more about the event, visit their official website HERE.
(Source: cbs58 )