“Look, Mom – No hands!” Remember saying that to your momentarily nerve-wracked mother while zooming down the driveway on your 10-speed or dirt bike with your hands in the air? We here at E3 Spark Plugs sure do. And we’ve got the skinned-knee scars to prove it. But Phil Comar just one-upped our boneheaded bicycle moves in a big way.
Adrian, Michigan resident Phil Comar set out this past Saturday to ride his Harley Davidson motorcycle 525 miles from the south side of the Mackinac Bridge in Michigan, to Covington, Kentucky – without ever touching the handlebars. The goal was to not only set a new world record, but more importantly, to raise funds and awareness in honor the memory of his late father, Robert Comar, who died of complications with Parkinson’s disease in 2008.
“His strength of character and perseverance in his struggle with this disease gives me my personal drive and determination to do whatever I can to help find a cure for others,” says Comar, who has done his no-hands benefitting the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research the past three years. “I feel it is the only thing that will help offset the helplessness I felt as I watched him progressively diminish over the years until he was unable to do the simplest things in life that most of us take for granted.”
Comar did his first no-handed ride in 2010, traveling 314 miles from Michigan to Ohio. Last year, he bumped up the record riding 327 miles. He fell one touch and less than a mile short of this year’s 525-mile goal, thanks to a bridge being painted in Brighton, Michigan – 249 miles into his trip. The project had traffic at a standstill, forcing Comar to grab hold of his Harley and stop.
Still, the trip was a success for 63-year-old Comar who, ironically, is a motorcycle safety instructor for the state of Michigan. He raised $2,000 for Parkinson’s research and aims to keep raising funds with a $25,000 goal.
Before you jump on your own bike to see if you can make it no-handed to the grocery store, keep in mind that Comar has been riding motorcycles for 50 years and training himself to steer without using his hands for the past 20 years. In other words – Don’t try this at home.
E3 Spark Plugs congratulates Comar on a good effort for a great cause.