There is no known cure to his vision impairment, but that won't stop this Robertson cyclist doing what he loves.
Growing up using his bike regularly, little would Kev O'Meley know from 2003 it would be his main transport.
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"Like many kids from my generation, I rode to catch up with mates and get around everyday," O'Meley said.
"After quite a few years off the bike I got into cycling again out of necessity.
"I had to surrender my car licence back in 2003 as a result of my Retinitis pigmentosa (tunnel vision).
"It had progressed well past the legal limit to hold a licence. To keep my independence I restarted my cycling and started riding to-and-from work over 25km each way.
"Plus I was getting out on weekends with friends for the social side of the sport."
Retinitis pigmentosa is a genetic eye condition that over time causes loss of peripheral vision and eventually your sight completely.
It is a very challenging condition, but that isn't going to stop O'Meley from doing what he loves.
"There are many variations of the disease in the way it progresses," O'Meley said.
"Some people lose their sight in a few short years and others like myself lose it over many years.
"To hold a motor vehicle licence you require 120 degrees peripheral minimum, I now only have approximately five degrees.
"There is no known cure for Retinitis pigmentosa at this time. There are both male and female strands of the disease and over 140 genes that can cause it.
"But what I love about cycling are the challenges you can set yourself to improve on your last effort.
"There are different levels of the sport that allows novices to pros to get out and enjoy it.
"There's the social side of riding with friends and that it's a non contact sport that allows you to travel at your own pace and take in the countryside as you get around."
O'Meley's regular pilot broke his leg mountain biking with his son. It's a set back, but after years of riding for leisure, O'Meley is ready for a new challenge and the replacement pilot better be too.
"At the start, I was riding for fun," O'Meley said.
"My wife and I recently purchased our first tandem bicycle for leisure riding together and eventually we plan to do some touring both within Australia and overseas.
"But right now I'm seeking a pilot for competition. It has been a long term dream to compete, but it seems to take a lot for the stars to align in my favour.
"Over the years I have wanted to compete and now have the opportunity to do so on my tandem.
"The replacement pilot would need to be keen for starters and be roughly my height 180cm (this is so they fit my bikes).
"They will need to be available to train and race when required. They will also need to have pretty good bike handling skills as riding a tandem there is a lot of trust involved.
"Finally a good communicator, because you need to be able to understand what the stoker is wanting to do."
If you are interested in creating a power duo with Kev O'Meley and becoming his pilot, please email our sportswriter Matt Welch at: email@example.com or inbox the Southern Highland Cycling Club on their Facebook page: www.facebook.com/groups/southern.highlands.cycling.club.
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