The Achromatic Rider – Combattere l’acromatopsia con la Mountain-bike

The Achromatic Rider – Combattere l’acromatopsia con la Mountain-bike


Hi everyone! My name is Luca Breda, I am 20 years old and I live in Treviso. My greatest passion is mountain-biking. During these last years, over time, I have discovered the discipline I used to like most… …which is enduro mountain-biking so a kind of downhill mountain-biking… …mixed with some climbs. However, you have to know that I have one more difficulty… …because I am suffering from achromatopsia. Achromatopsia is a genetic disease which impedes me to see colors. Basically my world is all black and white explaining it as simply as I can. So… I don’t even know if the sky is blue or if so is the sea. Not even if a meadow is green… Moreover, this disease causes also a poor field of view, so… …I can only see up to 3 or 4 meters in front of me. Furthermore, as I am color-blind, I am photophobic which means that my eyes get easily irritated by light… That’s why I always wear dark lenses. Let’s say that living in a world… …where everything works around colors is not that easy, for sure. Especially if we’re talking about mountain-biking… It becomes something almost extreme, I’d say. Going down from a mountain without even seeing where I’m going might mean risking to get injured. But I discovered my world riding my bike because, after all, after all the difficulties I realized that it is a world that I really love and that I never thought I’d ever discover it. Sometimes, when the sun is too shiny the track becomes almost invisible so I have to ride hoping it’s going to be alright. And most of the times I have to thank who ride with me. Sometimes it’s not easy at all watching the others riding so fast or jumping huge jumps. I’d love to do them too… but I don’t have neither the speed and the skills to try because it’s really difficult for me… After a certain speed I can’t see anything so unfortunately a jump turns into a massive thing to do. Then in bike-parks my friends complete a trail-ride in half the time I need… It’s hard to accept it. Again, in parks I often have to ride alone… I’d really like to ride in group but obviously I ride slowly they are faster than me. It’s all about a mind question which we have to fight to go on… I repeat, it’s hard sometimes… But we always try to do our best the guys whom I ride with try to wait for me but still, sometimes it really tears me down. Clearly we can’t have everything from life I think I am lucky enough, since I can ride my bike and I am the happiest man doing that. It’s so much for me. We have to see it like this. Obviously, crashes are part of the game it’s not all peaches and dandelions… Unfortunately it’s something you have to be aware of. I crashed many times actually even on an easy track, along a straight road. Sometimes crashes are like a punch in the face because even just riding my bike is not easy for me and crashes make your life harder because they sometimes demoralize you. It’s hard to start over you have to keep your mind trained to get back up and to keep going on. Fortunately, I’ve found friends who can understand my situation, who put themselves in my shoes and so they’re trying to help me. For example riding next to me, slowing down a bit, warning me about what is coming, like curves, jumps. It’s really important for me. I never thought I’d find someone like them mainly because people have always had problems on getting what I have. And… They help me while riding roads too if a car is coming or people along the road and that’s remarkable, for sure. Sometimes I got lost along trails and we met back after an hour. But yes, that’s just part of the game. Talking about my future, I have lots of projects… I’m looking forward to ride in an enduro race next year maybe in the Superenduro in Canazei (hoping it’s gonna take place next year too) It will definitely be a tough test for me because it’s a Superenduro race so trails are hard and tricky as hell. Let’s try it then. I threw myself into the enduro and downhill world so… I have the determination I need to race. I mean, the sense of this race is not making a good time that’s the least priority. It’s more about challenging myself and saying “I did it”. Moreover, I’d like to have the possibility to meet someone who has the same difficulties of mines so that we can ride together, devise new technics for us or just even having a conversation with someone with the same difficulties. Although, I’d like also to find someone willing to train me and to help me to find technics for my kind of riding because of my difficulties. What I’m looking for, is to improve my skills, and to have a better training so that I can be more competitive I won’t be the fastest in downhills but I’d still have a better physical training. It’s all about the time, we will see how the situation is going to be in the future. I am confident about it and I really hope to both who would ride with me and who would try and train me. I want to say to all of those who have my same problem or who have other kind of difficulties… …that we can do everything, we just need to have the will to do it. It might not be easy, for sure. But, with devotion and passion we have no limits. We just have to try and risk because spending our lives in a sheltered bubble is useless. There is a world outside that has plenty of possibilities and despite our limitations we can do huge things. This world can give us a lot of satisfactions and I understood this by riding my bike. I understood that this world is amazing. I absolutely have to thank the TVBikeCrew guys who helped me to create this video and who have always supported me in every bike ride we’ve done. Without their help I wouldn’t have improved my skills and my self-confidence they have really helped me so much. I appreciate also all the help that I’ve been receiving from everyone who rides with me Sometimes there is someone who can’t understand because there is who tries to challenge me which is silly, it makes no sense they know it’s a lost match… It is really ridiculous… I don’t know why they do this, but I am aware that there is this kind of people. Fortunately they are just a few. There are also many other people outside the bicycle world who always give me a huge support because it’s not always so easy to go on sometimes even this sport in some situations makes me demoralized because it’s sad to see the others having skills that I can’t achieve. So, thanking everyone I mentioned, is the least I can do.