Grand Total Raised – £20,000 – A massive thank you to everyone for this enormous sum and CONGRATULATIONS to Allen and the rest of the BoB riders!
Over to Allen…….
Bond of Brothers
The Ride for Prostate Cancer Awareness
How it all started
For a couple of years I have thought about bringing motorcycle riding back to the forefront of Chapter activities.. yes people were out riding their bikes and racking up the miles ..but mainly as individuals or a few close friends together but not together as a chapter ,
The boom in women’s motorcycling has grown massively in recent years and to be fair leaving the men in their shadows through their achievements like the sparkle ride etc and hats off to them they deserve all the accolades they are getting through their hard work in bringing girl power on to two wheels ..
With a phone call to Barry (Chapter Director) and Jimmy (Head Road Captain) I spoke to them about a plan I had thought of to bring riding back for the men of the Chapter ..I said although all three of us have at least 17 years each in the Chapter and also as Road Crew members we do lots of miles together but we never ride with the other lads in the Chapter or really get to know them, so let’s do something that we can all take part in that would bring us together, BOND us not only as a Chapter but also as friends, mates, pals, buddies, …..BROTHERS …
Within the Chapter a few of our members have been or are currently going through treatment for prostate cancer so at one Chapter meeting we had a visit from the woman who helped our very own Chapter Director with his treatment and Barry also gave us his very personal insight to the treatment and process of his recovery. They informed us that this is a cancer that can be treated if detected in the early stages and the success rate when treated is high … but unfortunately one man dies every 45 minutes through this and the amount of new cases detected each year are a staggering amount 47,000 .
It was decided we would do a ride for prostate cancer awareness.. Just a group of lads from the Geordie Chapter doing a few miles together, that was it ..simple…
Until.. the simple ride was turned into a back to back Lands End to John O’Groats, 1780 mile ride over a long weekend in June 2020 ..(planned before Covid19 outbreak )
Once the planned ride was announced the interest soared and I had an amazing amount of men apply to join the ride, not only from our Chapter but also from other Chapters around the country. I had to explain that for this year it would only be for members of the Geordie Chapter ..so what did these other men do ? They also joined our Chapter so they could qualify for a place on the ride ..that showed to us how much this awareness ride meant to them also.
The logistics for the ride we thought would be a nightmare with such a large group of riders to accommodate, but with the help of fellow Road Crew members our fears were quickly put to bed and most things were sorted within a short space of time.
This was supposed to be a riding event for awareness only, but with the amount of interest shown we thought it would be a good idea to raise some funding for Prostate Cancer UK.
The amount of support shown by the Geordie Chapter and also other Chapters, family members and friends has truly been overwhelming with a staggering amount of over £1500 being raised in the first two weeks on the Just Giving page.
A huge amount of the money raised goes directly to the research teams and for the treatment of patients and also to other support teams such as Macmillan nurses and to the ongoing campaign for raising awareness.
After a brief discussion with James Jobson on my idea of roads to ride, he presented later that day a full itinerary of the route and mileage between fuel stops. After we added in destination points of hotels etc, we were good to go, all we had to do was to sit back and wait for the morning of June 4th to arrive …so we thought.
As the world was going into lock down we feared we would have to postpone our ride and with more restrictions being imposed, meetings cancelled, bike rallies cancelled, recommended limitations on group riding of no more than six people and then to top it off Scotland closed its borders with England, it was looking doomed before we could even turn a wheel.
As June was fast approaching we were still hopeful of doing the ride and I was determined not to cancel, but with the country in lockdown and accommodation unavailable the decision had to be made to delay the ride. Thankfully the hotel chain that Chapter member John Nichol was dealing with were very helpful and worked with John to secure 27 rooms on dates we were suggesting. I couldn’t have managed without your input John. Thanks very much .
Fast forward to August 6th… the ride from Gateshead Harley Davidson to Lands End.
We were due to leave at 9 am when hopefully the western bypass would be clear of rush hour traffic, James the Dealer Manager agreed to come in early so we could meet for photos and have a morning coffee before leaving. When I arrived there, the full team of staff were already in and light breakfasts were supplied, an outstanding amount of family, friends and Chapter members turned out to see us off and to top it off two lads from Northumbria Traffic Police gave us a blue light escort through the motorway traffic.
The 485 mile ride to Lands End was easy going as we stopped for fuel and short breaks we cooperated with the guidelines on social distancing. Whilst en-route, members from local bike groups and HOG members were on motorway bridges showing their support to friends attending the ride. It was a great sight to see and lifted everyone’s spirits even higher during the long miles. As we refuelled at Taunton Deane Services, we were welcomed by the Director of Bridgwater Chapter Gill Mogg and her family and also the three lads from Bridgwater HOG who were to accompany us on the ride. We arrived at Lands End and checked into our rooms and after a well earned meal and a refreshing pint we bedded down for a the night.
As Friday morning 6am dawned we left a misty Lands End and headed 568 miles towards Glasgow.
Our first fuel stop was just off junction 27 on the M5 and a breakfast break at Morgan’s Transport cafe just 2 miles further up the A38. We had pre booked a breakfast sandwich and coffees each with the help of friends, but as we pulled into the car park we were greeted once again by a few Bridgwater members, also with a full table of refreshments along with breakfasts served by two very glamorous ladies Maggie and Lisa. They also had an early start and had set up tables outside the cafe and brought us bottled water, fruit and chocolate cornflake cakes smothered in £15 worth of Belgium’s finest to help us on our way. Thanks Jo xx After being fed and watered we left them and headed north and once again Chapter members and friends showed their support and waved to us on our way from overhead bridges, we arrived at Strensham Services where we met two more riders who were to accompany us north as part of their NC 500 adventure…
Part of that adventure was M6 traffic… 30 plus miles of road works and Friday traffic jams meant some keen filtering from all riders but after a few choice words and weakened door mirrors we all survived and regrouped at the next fuel stop at Lancaster Services.
We arrived in Glasgow in true Scottish tradition got soaked two miles from the hotel. Something to eat a quick drink and a chat about the day’s events it was a early night as we had a long day ahead of us and another 6 am start .
Saturday Morning, because of the rain we hadn’t fuelled the night before, so a petrol station was required asap. Our youngest member on the ride, Ben, was getting a little concerned as he had travelled 165 miles on his sportster and was in desperate need of fuel, so 15 miles down the road we stopped to re fuel… apparently I had passed three petrol stations en-route to that one! Now we all had full tanks we were ready for our 560 miles and 12 hours in the saddle. We set off towards John O’Groats and after yesterday’s motorway ride we took the scenic route through Crieff to Pitlochry an amazing route and then on towards Aviemore for refreshments and fuel. From there to JO’G, the roads were quiet and scenery outstanding. As we pulled into the harbour at JO’G we were met by two familiar faces, our very own Ladies of Harley Officer Dawn Beattie and her husband Paul who, with the help of the Harbour master (Dawn’s Dad), sorted out parking and food for us from THE cabin at JO’G.
Once again after photos and food we left JO’G and headed towards Edinburgh for our final night’s stay and to also meet fellow Geordie Chapter members who would do the final few miles with us.
Saturday night consisted of lots of story telling of the previous two days events and every one of these lads had their own version of their epic ride. Sitting back and listening to their different versions of events, I was overwhelmed by the camaraderie and the friendships that had been made, every one of these lads had supported each other leading up to and throughout the ride. I felt a great amount of pride in being a part of this bond and so pleased we had managed to do it together as a Chapter .
Sunday morning we left Edinburgh around 9.30 am and headed south towards Jedburgh where Ben was to fuel up! On arrival we were met by another group of Chapter members who had ridden to meet us and ride with us on our last few miles to our final destination, Percy Park Rugby Club in North Shields .
As we turned the corner towards the Club I could see the road seemed to be blocked. As we got closer I got the shock of a lifetime, once again we were met by Chapter members’ family, friends and supporters of our ride. The two girls from Bridgwater had also travelled over 300 miles to see us complete the ride and they were holding the Chapter banner that had mysteriously disappeared in Taunton! As we parked the bikes we were met with cheers of congratulations and applause and Barry our director told me the amount of money that had been donated and also the huge amount of well wishes we had received on social media over the weekend .
We were due to hold a raffle on arrival at Percy Park but it was decided to hold it the following Saturday at Gateshead Harley Davidson.
We had some fantastic prizes donated by celebrities, friends, Chapters and businesses from around the North East and further afield.
Prizes included a very large variety of drinks, a new Land Rover Defender (Lego), vouchers from two local tattoo studios , golf memorabilia signed by Alan Shearer and an amazing helmet stand! A great turnout on the day and the majority of the prizes were claimed on the day.
Our amazing LOH had once again showed what a great asset they are to the Chapter and have also been great supporters of the ride by raising a further £1000 through raffle ticket sales and also well over £100 from a tombola held on the day.
With us heading towards a target of £15,000, I can’t thank the people who have supported and donated to our ride enough and especially through these times of uncertainty…
With over 50,000 combined miles achieved by the riders, I would like to say it was my privilege to share those miles with you all and would do it all again in a heartbeat.
Alan Wright, Adam Phillips, Anthony McGill, Ben Phillips, Bill Walton, Bosley Bartle, Dave Kent, Dave Turnbull, Frank Goodall, Gary Robinson, Graham Hancock, Greg Holmes, James Jobson, John Nichol, John Smith, John Thompson, Kevin Dagger, Luke Wharton, Mark Jennings, Nigel Chapman, Per Holst, Pete Hill, Richard Watts, Simon Berry, Simon Field, Steve Dobson, Terry Scott and myself Allen Glasper.
To everyone named and everyone unnamed, we raise a glass to you… we couldn’t have done it without you…
If we were doing a Wild Hogs style film , the outtakes would include…
- After a briefing of the group and warning them how easy it is to get petrol pumps mixed with diesel pumps… Gary Robinson filled up with diesel at 8.15 am on the Thursday morning… resulting in a mad panic for the next 40 mins… hence my late arrival! He was soon forgiven though, as Alyson his wife had supplied us with two big trays of Mars bar cake to help us on our way!
- Lead Police car showing the drivers on A1 “who’s the daddy” while nearly killing us all within the first half a mile of leaving dealership…
- Two riders deciding they liked Strensham Services South so much they would visit it again while the rest of us were heading North???
- One rider managing to get onto M42 well after passing the junction for it???
- Ben Phillips trying to do a rendition of Hell Rider by losing his “emergency” gallon can of fuel off his rack and it bouncing down the road towards the riders behind him… hence his new name of ” Molotov “.
- Jimmy assuring the receptionist everything would be OK and booking 6’4″ Dave Kent into his room, only for Dave to find out it was a disabled room for wheelchair bound guests… so virtually every thing was knee height for him in the room…
A group of riders from the Chapter will ride from Gateshead Harley Davidson to Lands’ End on 4th June 2020, to then embark on a 2 day journey North to John o’ Groats, arriving on 6th June, before making the journey back to Gateshead on 7th June.
The intention is mainly to Raise awareness of Prostate Cancer with more than 47,000 new cases diagnosed in men in the UK each year. This makes it the most common form of cancer in men in the UK which affects not only those diagnosed, but also their friends and family.
We are also hoping to raise funds along the way and any donations to this very worthy cause will be greatly appreciated.
Please visit the Just Giving page here to make a donation. Thank you.
See the messages of support in the videos below.