It seems remiss of me that I have not posted an update as to my activity. Especially so when there is so much fluidity to my plans. My plans for May and the baton relay ride would have to change. It was decided that this would be postponed, a fate of many events over the last year. The official statement reads like this:
Mental Health Motorbike Ride Postponement
Since the creation of Mental Health Motorbike at the beginning of 2020 a lot has happened, not least a global pandemic. We were forced to concentrate our efforts online and saw a massive growth in our support community as the lockdowns had a heavy toll on the public’s mental health.Mental Health Motorbike Official Statement – April 2021
With some optimism we pushed on with our desire to get out into the real world to raise awareness of suicide rates of bikers and a primary goal of having a trained Mental Health First Aider from the motorcycle community in every town and city across the UK. Our aim was to ride the extent of the UK, over 3000 miles, accompanied along the way with nominated baton carriers. The GPS tracked baton would be handed from rider to rider as we visited as many venues as possible along the way.
With all the planning completed we finally awaited the final roadmap out of the current lockdown. Having reviewed this and after many hours of discussion we feel that it would not be possible to complete the ride in the original timeframe while adhering to the guidelines. Furthermore, we would not be able to realise the original vision of community involvement.
It is on this basis that Mental Health Motorbike has made the hard decision to postpone the ride until 2022.
We will continue to reach out the community throughout 2021 not least with our ambassador presence at every stage of the Bennett’s British Superbike season and with attendance at as many motorcycle events such as the Overland Festival.
Our primary goal remains to train as many MHFA volunteers as possible and this in turn will help us build capacity to provide the much-required support to the motorcycle community and beyond.
We acknowledge and thank you for your continued support that has allowed us in the last year alone to achieve:
• More than 6.5k online supported on social media, support and fundraising groups
• Over 97 regional ambassadors
• Over 56 MHFAs trained
• More than 780 cases of individual One to One support
And, most importantly…
The support of 57 members who were at the point of suicide but are still with us today.
I was about to resign myself to a month of May polishing my riding boots. I then took a call asking if we could resurrect part of the ride. We had strategic partners who still wanted to meet with us face to face such as DocBike, CHAOS group and Quay Riders. Additionally we had also had an invite to represent in the Distinguished Gentlemen’s Ride. This is the Bournemouth to Poole run.
This was of particular interest to me as my choice of bike had always excluded me. I thought of entering the old R100RT but this was still subject to a little bit more TLC. Our inclusion was facilitated by presenting as a support role alongside DocBike. That’s not to say that the rider won’t be entering into the spirit of things. I already have all the clothing I need to be a dapper chap.
We thought that it would be rude not to head down to Cornwall and visit Land’s End since in the area. We had to he photo of the other end on the UK from a few years back on the NC500. Hopefully the weather would be kinder to us. We did get some great sunshine on that run but the day we visited John O’Groats it poured down.
The opening up of hotels and B&B’s gave some accommodation options. An enforced luxury was the choice to have a room each. This was a Covid precaution rather than the twin rooms we would normally choose. We are happy to avoid all the usual tourist hotspots such as the beaches so could stay inland a little. It’s the roads we would be there for anyway.
After a loop of the Cornish coast we would be heading back but indirectly. Our route would swing us into Wales where we would pick up some great roads that we haven’t ridden for some time. The North and Snowdonia are our usual stomping grounds.
With all the routes locked in its now the usual waiting game. It will be good to get a meaningful trip under my belt on the GSA. Since I bought it in September 2019 it has done nothing more than day trips, not for the want of planning.