I sometime question my judgement. Of the many purchases during lockdown one was a wall clock in the shape of a blue partially open sardine tin. A yellow fish forms the pendulum which wobbles side to side. In my defence I was not aware when I checked out online that the clock ticks, but tick it does. It also tocks.
At a time when I spend much of my waking existence in a small study it’s a constant reminder of the passing of time. Tick, tock, tick, tock… at least its not that incessantly annoying social media app.
Despite the clock’s impression of slowing time and space it is all but an illusion. My Adventure Bike Rider calendar hanging adjacent to the clock reminds that February will soon be making way for March.
Planning the ride
Like many my travels have been non existent and therefore I have had little to write about. That doesn’t mean that I haven’t been busy trip planning. The trip I have been planning is a little different to the usual tours. It’s a tour of the UK in the name of Mental Health Motorbike promoting awareness and looking to recruit trainees to achieve one of the primary goals. This is to have a network of Mental Health First Aiders in every town and city across the UK.
The importance of good mental health
Many bikers who have poor mental health use their motorcycle and riding as part of their therapy. The last year has been particularly difficult and Mental Health Motorbike has become an integral part of their support. For others such as myself who have been trained as an MHFA it’s an opportunity to volunteer and help.
People have asked why this needs to be an inclusive group of bikers only. Surely anyone can have poor mental health and they would be correct in that assumption. In my previous statement I mentioned how riding can be a therapy, the motorcycle community is know to be generous in their support of good causes. This puts the Mental Health Motorbike member and the MHFA trained operatives in a unique position. It allows them as a group of like minded individuals to reach out to and support the wider community.
The plan is to depart from MediaCity UK in Manchester on Friday 7th May. The ride itself takes around the UK over the following two weeks. Accompanying our two outriders will be a number of baton carriers who will complete a section before handing over to the next rider. The baton will be GPS tracked so that our progress can be tracked. Along the way we will be visiting number of motorcycle related venues such as biker cafes, Thruxton race circuit and Sammy Millers Motorcycle Museum, to name but a few.
Covid has been a challenge in the planning. We have had to make some planning changes by restricting the route riding to the core team. Rather than people riding along with us it is preferable for people to arrange their own rides, solo or in a group, to meet us at the venues which should allow social distancing. These separate rides may provide the opportunity to raise awareness and raise funds for us.
I’m now in a position to publish an itinerary with dates.
Friday May 7th – Evening event launch (Media City UK) to Veteran’s Garage
- Media City UK, Salford
- Veteran’s Garage
Saturday May 8th – Manchester to Carlisle
- Penny Garth Café, Hawes
- The Filling Station Café, Keswick
Sunday May 9th – Carlisle to Fort William
- The Glen Cafe
- The Green Welly Stop, Tyndrum
Monday May 10th – Fort William to Edinburgh
- The Old Fire Station, Tomintoul
- Powmill Milk Bar
- Bikers Cove
Tuesday May 11th – Edinburgh to Newcastle
Wednesday May 12th – Newcastle to York
- Nook Farm, Alston
- Whistle Stop Tea Rooms, Whitby
- Trackers Café, Bridlington
- Seaways Café, Fridaythorpe
Thursday May 13th – York to Matlock Bath
- Café Moto, York
- Squires Biker Café, Leeds
Friday May 14th – Matlock Bath to Ipswich
- National Memorial Arboretum, Burton upon Trent
- Triumph Head Office, Hinkley
- Revved Up, Walton on the Naze
Saturday May 15th – Ipswich to Dorking
- High Beech Tea Hut, Loughton
- Ace Café
- The Bike Shed Motorcycle Club
Sunday May 16th – Dorking to Bournemouth
- Ryka’s Café, Dorking
- The Custom Café, Bexhill on Sea
- Loomies Moto Café
- Sammy Miller Motorcycle Museum
Monday May 17th – Bournemouth to Plymouth
- Cap’n Jaspers, Plymouth
- Chequres Flag, Liskeard
Tuesday May 18th – Plymouth to Port Isaac
Wednesday May 19th – Port Isaac to Thruxton
Thursday May 20th – Thruxton to Llandrindod Wells
- H Café, Wallingford
Friday May 21st – Llandrindod Wells to Manchester (Media City UK)
- Ponderosa Café, Horseshoe Pass
- Raven Café, Whitchurch
- Cat and Fiddle Inn, Macclesfield
Find out more at https://mhmotorbike.com
Until then I continue to plan…. tick tock, tick, tock