Blind man’s tough
Daily Express 4th April, 2006 Written by Kurt BayerE
WA BLIND daredevil is devoting his life to extreme stunts.
Dean Dunbar, who suffers from a rare eye condition, has tackled the world’s most adrenalin-charged sports.
His dazzling list of achievements includes paragliding, bungie jumping, parachuting, cliff jumping, jungle trekking, scuba diving, snowboarding, and wakebarding.
And the Blairgowrie thrillseeker’s latest target is to complete the Great Glen Way from Fort William to Inverness by mountain bike next month.
Dean, 36, who suffers from Rod and Cone Dystrophy, has described the bike plan as his “biggest challenge yet”. But pushing himself to his limits is what keeps him going. And by documenting his stunts on his website, www.extremedreams.co.uk, Dean hopes to inspire others to abandon their couch and try some extreme fun.
Dean said: “People usually question how bad my sight is – then question my sanity.
“My whole thing really is about getting people outdoors.
“To a certain extent, I don’t think having a disability is an excuse. Obviously there are some people who simply can’t do these activities because of their condition but a lot of people could do with getting out there and giving it a try. Britain is now only just behind America in obesity levels and unles something drastic changes soon, we’re going to have a lot of problems”.
Dean got the adrenalin bug in 1998 after a charity skydive. Since then he has tried every “dangerous” sport he could find and with the help of his wife Rhona, he is beginning to run out of things to test him.
He took up mountain biking last year and trains three times a week in the Perthshire hills.
He said: “Rhona and I cycle together. She’ll sit in front of me and whenever people or obstacles come up in front, she’ll tell me “keep left” or “keep right”. But on a mountain bike track, she can’t tell me every bump, so it’s hard on the body.”
by Kurt BayerE