Video: Blind Mountain Biker Sends Big Gaps

Sep 19, 2019
by James Smurthwaite  

Xavier Hopkins only has 10% vision but that hasn't held him back from sending huge gaps on his ebike. Xavier suffers from albinism, which causes too much light to enter his eyes and nystagmus, a condition that causes his eyes to shake uncontrollably. As such, he is unable to focus on things more than a few metres away.

In a comment posted under the video he explains how he was able to build up to riding such big feature. He says:

bigquotesI am able to ride with this, because unlike many I'm not stupid, Any big gaps I'll go and look at first rather than just disconnecting my brain and riding at them. I also try to remember where things are such as roots and rocks which I won't see when riding, however, I can't remember everything, so crashes happen. I feel I could've moved onto way bigger features in my 1.5 years of riding if i was an idiot and just did things way out of my comfort zone. Hitting stuff way out of your comfort and ability doesn't make you better, even if by some miracle you land it. I think my slow and steady approach works better generally if you don't want to spend 6 weeks at a time off the bikeXavier Hopkins

To top it all off, Xavier has only been riding for a year and a half and is already confident sending some sizable gaps. Hopefully we'll see plenty more of his shredding as his riding progresses even further in future.


103 Comments

  • 187 0
 Just to clarify guys in the UK the classification is either visually impaired or blind depending on how much usable sight you have, mine is so bad that I am classed as blind, mainly because I cant read or write without the help of a computer and special software. I didn't choose the title and don't mean to mislead anyone. I'm guessing legally blind is an American term.

Thanks for all the comments though: Smile
  • 19 0
 smashin it chap! where is that place you're riding, looks sweet
  • 12 0
 @n3crophile: Rogate bike park, It's really sick!
  • 15 0
 Keep crushing it bro!
  • 11 0
 Hey man, good on you buddy! Life is short, enjoy it and don't hold back! Where is the bike park your riding in the video, it looks like a great place!
  • 10 0
 Great Attitude! Enjoy life and keep pushing your boundaries.
  • 12 0
 You have great style, keep ripping!!!
  • 10 0
 Your riding style does not look disabled to me, rock on!
  • 9 0
 Absolute respect bro. Do your thing Xavier!
  • 11 0
 Wise words mate, inspiring video, good style, keep at it bro.
  • 8 1
 Way to go homie, that is some great riding! Way to smash!
  • 5 0
 @hopkx001: Very touched by your testimony Xavier. It transmits so much strength and hope. And you miss nothing by not watching TV and bullshits. Just keep on doing the things you can/you want, that`s the least I hope for you. Cheers from France Smile
  • 4 0
 Great video and good on ya mate! Keep it up.
  • 6 0
 Well done dude I fell your pain I'm partially blind in one eye, so I have no depth perception and permenant double vision lol sounds crazy but when you love something you do your best to overcome any obstacle!!! I have never let my sight hold me back!! Ps great bike I have exactly the same lol I also ride rogate so may have to have a seeion if I see you about!! Good luck dude and keep brapping....
  • 4 0
 Inspiring! You ride with style and passion man.
  • 3 0
 The only ones who felt mislead are also ignorant about sight impairment so don't pay attention to them. As Bobby McMullen famously said, its like looking through a rolled up piece of paper with Vaseline smeared on the end. Props to how hard you're sending it! That was a sick edit.
  • 2 0
 @silverfox101010: keep an eye out for each other
  • 2 0
 If you ride, you're family. Nothing else matters.
  • 2 0
 Bro! Your killin it????keep tearin it up and inspiring others. Your doing a great thing!
Also, I'm gonna take some notes on those stylish tables of yours???? Sick!
  • 1 0
 So inspiring! Dude your riding style is so smooth and those jumps are huge!
  • 68 0
 I got 100% of my vision and I probably rides 10% of what he does..... props to you mate, u rock!!!!
  • 21 0
 Throwing all my f*€kin excuses out the window.
  • 7 0
 Yeah was just thinking the same, and he's only been riding for 1.5 years!! Now I'm just plain embarassed!
  • 3 0
 Seriously. The dude has incredible talent.
  • 38 8
 Xavier: I m not blind, I can see with limited vision.
Pinkbike: Blind mountain biker sends huge gaps

Power to you Xavier, way to stick a big middle finger to the man who told you you couldn't do all these things..
Love your attitude..
  • 7 4
 He’s legally blind, pretty easy qualifier to add if you’re an editor. Less clicks tho.
  • 13 1
 The title of their YouTube video is "Blind Mountain Biker hits HUGE jumps on his eBike". Smile
  • 1 2
 There are people who are truly "profoundly" blind who ride bikes www.youtube.com/watch?v=a05kgcI9D2Q
  • 24 0
 Story of the year. Someone needs to sign this young man on to be an advocate/ambassador.
  • 3 0
 Conveniently, PB has since posted a reminder about Paul Bas. Seeing him riding an e-bike at the start of the year already set the bar at a pretty high level. Edit - not to take away from this guy - he is obviously doing amazing things
  • 23 0
 I feel inadequate, I've been riding 25 years with full vision, he's been riding 1.5 years with 10 percent vision, and he beats me by miles. Good work fella.
  • 11 0
 I used to work with a retired carpenter who lost the majority of his sight to macular degeneration. His vision was very spotty, couldn't drive, not really able to work without assistance, so he volunteered to help me set up mid week to prep for Habitat for Humanity projects. If he hadn't had the opportunity to work, I think he woudl have gotten restless and bored, likely start feeling like "what's the point". It's important to push your boundaries, regardless of age or ability. Not to mention, Xavier is killing it!!
  • 13 0
 Hey @iamspecialized. Put this guy on the payroll and send him to the expos and shows that you attend. If he cant get someone inspired to ride a bike then no one can.
  • 6 0
 That would be pretty sick!
  • 13 0
 world is harsh to me recently: kids, ladies, blind guys. them all better then me on bikes. what went wrong???
  • 11 0
 Ashton and this kid for a shot on the random tandom who thinks that should happen
  • 8 0
 That would be awsome, Martyn is one of my biggest inspirations!
  • 5 0
 Dude is that you in the vid are you our epic blind rider @hopkx001:
  • 9 0
 Well; I won't have any valid excuses anymore.
  • 7 0
 hey man you're such an inspiration, i've been mountain biking for over 25 years and you can jump the bike waaay better than me, keep those tires rollin' !!!
  • 8 0
 Haha all you losers hating on ebikes and can't whip half as well as this kid. What a great story.
  • 1 0
 Tru dat. Been riding 25+ and cant whip for shit
  • 7 0
 Seen you riding at rogate a few times now dude, never realised you had a problem with your vision as your riding is outstanding. Keep hauling fella. You're an inspiration
  • 6 0
 Haven't logged in for a while, but felt I had to comment here. Very inspirational dude, I will be showing this to my 8 year old, he will love it! That's the way to do it
  • 8 0
 10% of vision, 180% of balls and intuition.
  • 4 0
 I am one of those people who now sits and watches television every night after having a massive crash nine years ago that put me off riding altogether. Watching this video has made me realise that anything is possible. Keep it lit man!
  • 6 0
 This was really inspiring. Thanks for your example Xavier
  • 4 0
 This dudes a legend i follow him on you tube to be fair i was so suprised at how good he is on a bike what a bloke id go out riding with him any time
  • 6 0
 Articulate and confident lad. Good on him, and his family and mates.
  • 6 0
 What a cool young man . Keep sending it mate
  • 3 0
 Xavier, keep going strong. Everyone has so many excuses to not do the things we love. This video just reminded me that dropping these excuses is actually possible. Keep on the good attitude and keep riding
  • 2 0
 Dude you are an inspiration to us all. Remember that all those morons who picked on you at school will be flipping burgers for the rest of their lives in mediocre unhappiness. You my friend will rise above it all. Inspiring people is far more powerful than anything they will ever achieve. Keep shredding. I hope you meet you at Rogate one day.
  • 2 0
 Having met Xav a few times and ridden with him at Rogate, I was blown away when chatting to him and hearing him explain his vision. He's genuinely just a really humble kid. I spent some time grabbing some snaps of him throwing whips and couldn't comprehend how fast he must have to calculate things with limited vision. He has more skills than most, has chosen his path and living his life whilst not getting all too wrapped up by it all. Keep them wheels turning mate.
  • 5 0
 Crushing it brother! Keep rallying!
  • 2 0
 There are so many people in this world blinded by what they see. If you're ever in the states (east coast), I'll get you set up racing mini moto, maybe even some flat track. Keep shattering those illusions brother!
  • 3 0
 Saw the video a while ago already, but watched it again it's pretty impirational and impressive. Keep on riding dude. 10% vision + 90% skills = 100% send
  • 2 0
 Wow! That was totally inspirational. Brought a bit of mist to my eyes. I totally get what he means about how mountain bikes make all the world’s cares melt away. Good on you man.
  • 4 0
 Dudes got more skill and style than me. Great vid.
  • 3 0
 I can't up-vote this enough! Absolutely killin' it. This makes all my excuses seem quite sad and pathetic. Shred on man.
  • 2 0
 Stunned... Very inspiring! There is no excuse...! Rogate was one of my local spot whilst I was at Portsmouth Uni. Great to see how it's evolved over the past 10 years!
  • 2 0
 That’s awesome!
I recently saw a completely blind individual riding. He was with a crew of other people guiding him on the trail. It was an inspiring thingSmile
  • 4 3
 Dude is legend! Good on him, very inspiring!

On a side note; anyone else think he’s a spitting image of Beavis? Makes him even cooler in my book.
  • 3 0
 You are a true inspiration to us all. Keep shredding!
  • 3 0
 Hell yea Xavier!!!! Keep up the send sir!
  • 1 0
 Xavier keep on shredding bro!! its unbelievable what you are doin there,you can do anything you want-never let anybody tell you something different
  • 2 0
 Sick rider. Absolutely wouldnt mind riding with this fello. He could show me a thing or two!
  • 2 0
 What an inspiration.

“Beliefs are limits to be transcended.”

John C. Lilly
  • 3 0
 What a Daredevil!
  • 3 0
 Hero
  • 3 1
 That table at the end, soooo good
  • 1 1
 Where are all the usual ebike haters to slag this off & throw insults around?
As a kenevo rider myself, would love a bikecheck.
  • 1 0
 He must be almost blind, really, pedaling along wrong side of the road! So much talent and style!
  • 3 0
 Respect Big fan !
  • 2 0
 I hope he can ride for a long time. Send It Xavier!
  • 1 0
 Can anyone tell me what bike he's riding?
  • 11 0
 I'm riding a specialized kenevo with triple crown forks.
  • 1 0
 Specialized e-bike
  • 1 0
 That's f*cking rad. Well done @hopkx001!
  • 1 0
 Keep being a badass Xavi!
  • 1 0
 Awesome. I guess you could say he's truly a "feel" rider as well!
  • 1 0
 That’s amazing Xavier! So inspirational. Keep shredding!!
  • 1 0
 Just keep keeping on, respect.
  • 1 0
 Super inspiring. Love your passion and dedication!
  • 1 0
 You’ve got skillz— send it, Xavier!
  • 1 0
 Inspiring, to say the least. You’re awesome, man.
  • 1 0
 Props, what an awesome attitude, and skillz too.
  • 1 0
 Yeah boy!!!!!!
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