Sophie Morgan: Para Motor-biker Riding Out the Coronavirus (Part.1)


I’m going out the house got antibacterial wipes I’m gonna take my bike for a ride and I’m leaving my wheelcchair behind because I’m not gonna get off. I’m also not going to talk
to anyone well if I do talk to people I’m gonna keep my distance the
guidelines are like 2 meters the distance between people so I’m gonna do
that but I also have my helmet on so if anything I’m wearing all the right stuff
to be very protected. So I thought I’d show you how I get on my bike, it’s not
the most graceful. This is how I get on the bike, i hold onto one hand back here I don’t have stomach muscles nor core
strength, as I’m paralysed from about here down so for anyone who’s
watching who has a spinal cord injury I’d say that’s an alright
transfer to do but it just takes a bit of practice just holding on to the right
bit so that you can pull yourself on. The next thing I do is my feet. My
Ryker has been adapted with special foot plates so that my foot go on
like this and won’t fall off because the standard foot plates that come with the
bikes are not big enough or wide enough to keep my feet on and my feet would
just bounce off but I’m riding so I just keep my feet like that I’ve got the
option to strap my feet in but I’m not gonna do that today because I’m only
going on roads that aren’t very bumpy that so they’re pretty
safe. I keep the straps on for when I’m doing stuff that is a bit more
bumpy and my feet might come out like if the road conditions aren’t great or I’m
going a little bit off road or whatever so that’s how I get on
okay so antiseptic wipes I’m gonna wipe down my handles but I have got
gloves on. It’s funny because actually really motorbiking is probably one of
the more safe things to be doing right now
because you’re on your own you’re in a helmet getting some fresh air it’s good
for your mental well-being and yeah I just feel like it’s an extreme way to
self isolate but it’s a way nonetheless so this is my helmet I don’t have any
balance because of my paralysis so this isn’t the easiest thing to do with one
hand because I’ve got a hold on for the up for balance and if I take it off a
bit wobbly so I think what I’m gonna do I’m not
sure if you can hear me, what I’m gonna do today it’s just go for a bit of
fresh air and also I’m kind of intrigued to see what’s going on out there in the
world. I’m not in London, I live in London normally, but I’m down at my Mum and Dad’s in Sussex in the South of England and I’m just gonna go and see what’s
going on around, see the lay of the land whilst getting a bit of fresh air and I’m going to take you with me so we can see what’s going on my bike is all hand controlled so what I have is my hand break here okay time to get out of here it feels
like riding into the apocalypse or something. I don’t know if you watch
The Walking Dead but it feels like going on ‘a run’, going out into the
world, what’s out there I don’t know obviously it’s not gonna be
like that at all, but you know what I mean
it’s like right now this is feeling when you watch the News, if you’re in your own
world and your own little bubble at home which is where you’re meant to be self
isolating it can feel like you don’t know what to expect when you go outside
so here I go into the world there’s something so magical about just
leaving my wheelchair behind and switching for a motorbike
I mean it’s extreme but who doesn’t love extremes? amazing to see so many cyclists out
today so when I was about 19 I was in a pub sitting on a pub bench and I got a
splinter in my right bum cheek and unfortunately that splinter was unknown
to me because I have complete paralysis which means I can’t feel below the level
of my injury so that splinter was sat in my right bum cheek and I didn’t know it
was there but eventually I found it I felt it and I went to a nurse and I said
help can you please tell me what to do
so she put a plaster on it and told me to come back in about a month, sorry about a
week’s time, and unfortunately I wasn’t allergic to the plaster and I formed an
abscess so that abscess had to get removed and I
was left with a hole in my right bum cheek that had to be healed and it took
about three years to fix and what it meant was during those three years I
wasn’t allowed to go anywhere I had to lie on my stomach and I had to wait for
this wound to heal naturally and I can tell you that’s like watching paint dry
so I was lying on my stomach for about three years..oh my god there’s people
still playing golf what is going on oh dear this means if people aren’t
listening to the guidelines from the government this virus is gonna spread
like wildfire and vulnerable people will die, elderly people will die, young people
will die and we will stay in quarantine like this for longer what is wrong with
everybody? there’s a lot of people still up here but they do seem to be sort of
you know keeping their distance from other people and just staying in their
groups it does feel strange to compare the real world to what’s on the news and
it’s easy to forget right now sitting in the sunshine like this everyone still needs to exercise and
fresh air I have to say that’s what I was doing
getting out and about. I’m so lucky to be able to come out like this
and I do feel safe I’m not touching
anybody.. so back to the story I was telling before, I spent a huge amount of
time on bed rest which could be called quarantin, could be called isolation
was definitely considered social distancing and I have experience of it so this
feels very familiar this situation to me now
and one of the things I pledged to myself when I was locked down was that
the minute that I got out I would find the freest way to live my life, which is
why I bought a motorbike so cruising around on my motorbike today is it feels
beyond words really it’s like a freedom I can’t even describe having spent so
much time locked down and I hope that actually for the first time really many
people might empathize with this situation that thousands of disabled
people find themselves in every day where we are left out we are have to prioritize our health and keep ourselves at home and what happens
when you come out and you get back into the world it is you do crazy things like
buy motorbikes because you realize what’s important and you realize what
matters to you what makes you happy so in this time of isolation I encourage
you to really think about what’s next plan ahead and when we do come out
of it I hope the world will be a better place I hope we”ll have more empathy
and understanding for each other and more gratitude maybe that’s a silver
lining thinking, fuck knows but right now I’m on my little adventure getting some
fresh air and I’m taking you with me. For all the
people that are locked in their rooms in their homes trying to protect themselves
and the people they love I’m taking you with me.
I hope I’m not rubbing salt in the wound you can always just turn me off if I am
but if you want to come with me I’m going to be doing this every day just
going out for a little bit and hopefully not endangering myself or anybody else
Look how beautiful in this country is look how beautiful Wow, spring is in the
air people it really is a lot of people out on their bikes fair play mate..there’s the sea
and that’s Brighton and Hove. This is my favorite road I’ve just got home and I realised my chair
isn’t very accessible so I’m not gonna be able to get off the bike for a bit, until
I can get someone’s attention to get my chair. Ive not got phone reception here. I’ve been rescued! Please get my chair for
me, my trusty steed. It’s so weird out there there’s still people everywhere yeah, even an ice cream man and you know life seems normal

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