Worthing blind veteran Carole Sharpe cannot wait to feel the adrenaline rush as she rides pillion in a cavalcade of bikers for the annual Ride for Life Beyond Sight Loss.
Carole loves the fresh air and the feel of being on the open road, though her sight loss means she is no longer able to see the countryside around her.
She said: “In my youth, I would ride on the back of an old BSA my brother used for scrambling. I loved the fresh air and the feel of freedom. Whether you’re sighted or not, you can still get that from a motorbike. Mind you, the bikes are much more comfortable than they used to be.”
A member of Blind Veterans UK, Carole regularly takes part in fundraising events for the charity and is looking forward to the 200-mile motorbike ride on Saturday.
She said: “I’m very much looking forward to the ride. I just love the exhilaration of being on a bike. What is really wonderful is the description of the journey we get from the bikers on the intercom. Even though I’m not able to see the countryside, it makes me feel like I can appreciate the changing scenery.”
Carole explained that many blind veterans enjoy an adrenaline rush but there are a lot of things they cannot do without the help of a sighted person.
Having joined the Fleet Air Arm as a Wren in September 1955, Carole served at various UK air stations before leaving the Navy. She then completed a degree in electrical engineering at Aberdeen University.
Carole lost her sight as a result of an accident in 2006 and has been receiving support from Blind Veterans UK since 2007. She is also secretary of the South Downs branch of Fleet Air Arm Association.
The Ride for Life Beyond Sight Loss is raising money for Blind Veterans UK, the national charity for vision-impaired ex-service personnel.
Carole will ride pillion as the group departs Moreton-in-Marsh in Gloucestershire. There will be stops at the Army Flying Museum in Stockbridge and the D-Day Story in Portsmouth, before the ride heads along Brighton seafront towards the final destination, the Blind Veterans UK training and rehabilitation centre in Ovingdean.
Visit www.blindveterans.org.uk/rideforlife for more information.