Stuart Gunn - An Extraordinary Man
Original Photograph: Ross Parr
Ten years ago an exceptionally talented, seasoned road & race biker cracked a few lame jokes with the paramedics trying to save his life.

A van jumping lanes at an Edinburgh junction ended up with half a biker through its sunroof & the other half through its windscreen.

After sliding down the van bonnet & hitting the ground (one futile attempt to crawl to his beloved bike now spinning it's merry self to Australia) both halves of that biker were folded onto a brace board & taken to hospital.

That biker is Stuart Gunn.

In the years following he's proven to be as determined, driven & positive in recovery as he always was on a bike. His intention to smash this world record reflects his approach & his limitless limitations in fundraising for four charities very close to his heart.
Elvington - Saturday 17th August, 2013
Stuart and I only knew each other through Twitter. We linked up after I had an operation on my left knee. Since then, Stuart has been a great inspiration to me. So much so, that I promised him that if he could get to a track to make his record attempt, I would get on my bike, somehow, and make the biggest single trip I had made in 3 years to be there and support him. On Saturday 17th August 2013, I jumped on my Honda Super Blackbird and rode the 142 miles to Elvington. I had just 2 pain stops on the way up, but I'd got there. I'd worry about getting back later.

I found Stuart and we met for the first time. He was clearly moved by the fact that I had kept my promise to him. Equally, I was moved by what I was witnessing.

Stuart went out for his first run. It was a 'disaster,' although I was well impressed. He had achieved a mere 147mph after struggling to engage 5th gear on his run. The organisers of the event agreed to allow Stuart an extra run on the 400 mile old Suzuki Hayabusa supplied by Saltire Suzuki. In difficult windy conditions his second run was tantalizingly close to the 164.7mph record with a speed of 163.1mph achieved. The organisers knew that Stuart could do it. A third run was allowed and the start point was pushed back, as power wheelies were forcing Stuart to back off and then get lined up again before powering on. By the third run, the wind speed had increased further and the inconsistent side gusts were making it increasingly difficult to stay on line. However, with father, Geoff, in radio contact and guiding his son down the track, the onlookers witnessed the speed display come up at 167.1mph. He had done it!! There was a spontaneous outbreak of cheering and tears.

39 year old Stuart Gunn had become the fastest blind and paralysed rider on the planet.

Here is my brief photo record of the day together with contributions from Ross Parr and Naomi Fountain. I hope you enjoy this tribute to a very brave and determined man, a man I can now truly call my friend.
Stuart being helped aboard the record breaking Saltire Suzuki Hayabusa.
Dad, Geoff, getting Stuart's foot onto the footrest
Guiding Stuart through scrutineering in readiness for his run
A hand of assurance as Stuart readies himself to make his run
Last minute words. The run is getting close
A moment of contemplation. It is time to go
Girlfriend Donna seeing Stuart out onto the track
Riding out to the far end of the track
Stuart on his record-breaking run

(Photograph: Ross Parr)
Stuart on his record-breaking run.

(Video: Naomi Fountain)
The numbers say it all. WORLD RECORD
A very proud man. And who wouldn't be
The team that have worked so hard to make this happen
The bike that made it all possible. Thanks Saltire Suzuki http://www.saltiresuzuki.com/
The media coverage has begun
 
Charities Being Supported By Stuart