A Peel youngster has battled against the odds and is fast becoming a potential motorcycling star of the future.
TJ Teare was five years old on Saturday and is an OSET rider currently leading the Isle of Man Championship in his class, despite being born with Amniotic Band Syndrome.
The disease affected TJ’s right hand, leaving him with no fingers and a ball shaped palm.
‘With the help of my brother we have adapted the motorbike to suit his needs. He rides with a left hand throttle and a foot brake,’ said TJ’s father, James Teare.
When the youngster was just six weeks old he had his first operation to straighten the palm of his hand out and he has gone on to have three more operations to give him a small thumb and stump fingers.
This didn’t stop TJ competing in the recent World Round Trial and coming ninth in his class.
‘TJ was competing against six year olds in the event so we were really pleased with his performance.
‘He also got to meet his hero, Spanish rider Toni Bou, the six-times World Trials Champion,’ said James.
‘We’re going to travel to a few more events too,’ he added.
At the age of two TJ showed great balance on his balance bike and no fear of speed on hills.
He then progressed to a pedal cycle with stabilizers but the stabilisers didn’t last long as he wanted to be like the older children.
This was all the more incredible as he could only hold on with one hand.
Still only two, TJ was bought his first OSET bike, a small wheel and he immediately started to try and be like his dad, going over small logs.
For his fourth birthday he got the big wheel OSET, though his parents thought it would be a bit big for him, he once again proved them wrong.
TJ then joined the local NSC cycling competitions, riding against six- and seven-year-olds, but still coming out on top.
‘He is still winning every week in the same class this year,’ said James.
‘He was introduced to the OSET team at this year’s TT and they showed great interest in his riding skills.
‘TJ is one very special little boy and will stop at nothing to reach his aim,’ said his proud father.
OSET Bikes are the perfect introduction to two-wheeled sport of any kind.
They are designed as an off-road trials bike, with the aim of teaching children great balance, an understanding of body position on the bike, and throttle control, all essential skills no matter what form of motor sport you end up riding.
The bikes were introduced as part of the entertainment at the grandstand at this year’s TT. TJ has his own group on facebook which you can join at www.facebook.com/groups/382418871874355/