The Injury


The Injury

Chris is a  former soldier from Somerset whose left arm was torn off in a terrifying motorbike crash is planning to race in the Isle of Man TT - one of the deadliest events in the world.

Former lance corporal, 28, wants to become the first ever one-armed biker to take part in the world-famous challenge.

His left arm was severed above the elbow and he came close to losing his right arm when he crashed into a brick wall on his bike in 2014.

He also suffered a bleed on the brain, punctured lung and broken back and was medically discharged from the Army after two tours of Afghanistan with 1st Battalion The Rifles.

Despite his brush with death Chris has now set his sights on competing in the Isle of Man TT in 2023.

The race has claimed 255 lives since it started in 1907.

Chris, who rides a modified 1,000cc Yamaha R1, said: "The closer I am to death the more alive I feel.

"Racing at the TT will be a huge risk, as it's renowned for claiming countless lives but it's a risk I'm willing to take.

"When I sustained the injuries I tried so hard to come to terms with what had happened to me. I was in a very dark place and I wanted the struggle to end.

"I didn't think I would be able to ride a motorcycle again - something I loved doing was denied to me.

"Motorbiking is my other love and I knew that, despite the seriousness of the injury, I would never give it up, especially as I knew I would no longer be able to serve in the forces."

Chris's life was devastated in 2014 when he hit a lamppost and careered into a brick wall outside the fire station in Nailsea, Somerset, close to his home in Clevedon.

He recalled: "My injuries were horrific - I'm very lucky to be alive.

"I always wanted to be in the Army for the full service - it was one of my loves in life and kept me going."

Chris underwent rehabilitation at the military's centre at Headley Court, Surrey before getting back on a motorbike.

He said he rides completely one-handed, using just his right arm and no aids.

He explained: "I don't use a prosthetic arm while racing as the arm locks at the elbow and restricts my movement on the bike.

"If I try to move to speed, i.e tuck my head in to the tank, it pushes on the left hand handlebar and changes direction.

"While I'm in corners I can't lean my body off the bike as again it pulls on the handlebar and puts my positions out."

Chris, who is married and about to become a dad for the first time, travels the country racing able-bodied riders of all levels, including ex British Super Bike competitors, in preparation for his challenge.

He is currently racing in the Thundersport GB Championship as he attempts to gain the licences needed for entry to the TT.

He said: "To gain access to the TT you need to go through different race licences and each licence is harder to obtain to prove you can race.

"Once you get a national licence you can enter road races and this is where you have to prove you can keep up to the speeds you need to achieve to get asked to enter the TT.

"Once you get accepted to try for the TT you have to complete the qualifying laps within a certain amount of time to have another tick in the box before they let you get on the grid of the race.

"It's a long process but it's to filter the people who can actually make it.

"So far I'm completing my first licence which I will hopefully have finished end of this season.

"Next season I can complete my clubman's licence to gain national licence to start road racing."