Every year thousands of motorcyclists ride to benefit countless charities, but Phil Comar stands apart from the crowd. The 63-year-old from Adair, Michigan, rides his Dyna Glide with no hands. And we don’t mean from here to the corner store; we’re talking hundreds of miles.
Comar, a motorcycle safety training instructor, has been riding for more than 50 years, and has been practicing his no-hands skills for the last two decades. When his dad passed away in 2008 from Parkinson’s disease, Comar decided to put his special talent to good use. See, his dad was a car buff and, due to the ravaging effects of the disease, lost the ability to hold a wrench. So in 2010 Comar attempted a no-hands ride from the Mackinac Bridge in Michigan to Covington, Kentucky—a distance of 525 miles. Although the “No Hand Man” made it only 314 miles, he was able to raise nearly $4,000 for the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research in his dad’s memory. In 2011 he attempted the same ride and this time made 327 miles without touching the handlebars. Although he couldn’t complete the ride, the feat was enough to earn him a place in the Guinness Book of World Records.
His bike has only a few minor modifications, the main one being an extra fuel tank so he doesn’t have to stop for gas, but he uses no special device to steer the bike, relying only on his ability to control the bike with his body rather than his hands.
Comar’s latest attempt took place at the end of September this year, and he nearly made it this time. Nearly 250 miles into his trip, he was forced to grab the handlebars for a dead stop in Brighton, Michigan, where a bridge was being painted that forced traffic into a single lane. Still, he raised nearly $2,000 for the Foundation.
After the ride Comar said, “Dad went through a lot enduring his disease, so I figured I could endure this for him. He’d probably think I was crazy, but he’d also think it’s pretty cool.”
Don’t try this stunt at home, kids.