Bikes and Beards demonstrates the blindingly obvious.
We've all heard the mantra "look where you want to go." You look, and the bike follows. So what happens if you can't see? For reasons that are beyond me, Bikes and Beards decided to find out.
These six brave—or is that crazy—riders covered their helmet visors with tape so that when the visor is down, they can't see a darn thing. They split up into three teams of two riders each, and then gave themselves a series of riding challenges do see how well they could do at riding blind.
Fortunately, they weren't completely crazy about this. These challenges take place in the middle of a rather large field, where there's nothing to hit except the cones they set up to mark the course. Also, the teammates have helmet communicators, and the teammate who's not riding can be the rider's eyes, giving the current rider instructions on which way to turn, when to go, and when to stop. Finally, they're riding small pit bikes, not large powerful bikes, which at least limits the amount of trouble they can get into just a little bit.
The first challenge is a simple drag race. It may seem easy to simply gun it in a straight line, but each rider actually needs the verbal instructions from their teammate to keep it straight, between the cones, and even to know when the drag race is over. That's almost as amazing as how poorly they follow their lefts and rights. I wonder if, without the visual reference of which way they're going, they lose their ability to countersteer. Instead of push left to go left, they're trying to turn left, which forces the bike to go right. I don't know—that's just a theory I have.
The challenges increase in difficulty from there. Some involve walking. All involve turning. And one even involves playing a blind game of cornhole. If you ever thought you were a bad rider, trust me, you're Ricky Carmichael compared to how much riding ability these guys lose when they can't see.
Of course, that's not a knock on their skills. They're blind. I probably wouldn't do nearly as well on these blind challenges as they do. It grates against every motorcycling instinct I have. I can't imagine just how wrong it must feel to whack open the throttle when you can't see a darn thing ahead of you. Fortunately, I don't have to imagine what it's like, because Bikes and Beards did it for me.