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  • Paul

Try to be nice...


So we’ve all been living through an interesting time over the last while. For some of us we’ve avoided getting ill, for others we’ve been floored with the virus and for more we’ve had it and it’s almost been a non event. Masks are the new normal, even if walking into the bank wearing a mask, a pair of shades and keeping your hood up is never, ever going to get old! What is happening is that places are beginning to open back up again.

For some people it’s been very difficult. The simple social isolation, the lock downs, the social distancing, the whole uncertainty of what’s going to happen next and how we’ll manage if we have to go back to it have taken a toll. It also looks as if we’re going to get a new normal, rather than anything like getting back to normal.

Last month twenty of us took on the west coast with a trip over to Connemara with Celtic Horizon Tours. Even with the first two days being wetter than the bottom of a swimming pool every one of us seemed simply delighted to be back on the road. Even better was being on roads that some of us didn’t know all that well if at all.

The second two days were awesome. The roads were simply terrific and when we stopped we were reminded why the people from the West are such wonderful and hospitable people. All of the riders and pillions who came with us made for wonderful company and if it wasn’t for Kevin coming along and being so annoying some of us would have just stayed out there!  All of it was a pretty strong reminder of what we’ve been missing.

Now, of course, it’s November. Winter is sinking it’s ice cold teeth into those of us who ride all year round and for many more of us we’ll just park up for the next few months except for the occasional good day or toy run that it would be social suicide not to attend. Now with a good uptake on the vaccine offering here in Ireland and a newer, brighter 2022 ahead of us it’s time to start planning a bit more of this type of thing. 

As a social group or groups we do an awful lot of good, particularly for local needy causes here in Ireland. As we go to print, one of the longest established ones, the Clondalkin Motorcycle club, have begun to promote their seasonal run which takes place this year on Sunday the 12th of December. All the monies raised on the day will go to worthy causes. And as we say charity begins at home. 

Pre the ‘great unhappiness’ we were all very busy taking the time out to ride out and frequently those ride outs were tied to some sort of fundraising for some sort of good cause. The good we do cannot be underestimated with the stuff like the Toy Run which traditionally ran from Dublin Harley Davidson to the refuge in Rathmines. In 2019 it filled half a dozen vans with toys for children a lot less fortunate than us. 

Route 66 has been raising money for the Temple Street Children’s Hospitals trust for a long time now with millions of Euro banked to help some of the most vulnerable sick children getting the benefit of motorcyclists good deeds. Weather or not the run will take place next year is in doubt, but planning it can, and probably should, still happen.

No matter what has happened to any of us over the last twenty one or twenty two months and how difficult we’ve found things there are always others who have had it worse than we did and always others who need the help that we can so easily give.

Events such as RevUp, which was started to assist families with children who had Down syndrome, is one that is very close to our hearts here at the magazine. On the May Bank holiday we’ll be riding out to support some very important local causes that could do with funding and wouldn’t find it anywhere else if it wasn’t for the generosity and willingness of the motorcycle community. 

The other one that we really like is the Ride Out For Mental Health. As ‘Movember’, once again, becomes a thing the stats on suicide numbers here in Ireland for last year are beginning to come to light. To say that they are horrific would be a shameful understatement. While the RSA, quite rightly, draws attention to the amount of people who loose their lives on our roads each year, the number of people who take their own lives is a multiple of those figures. This run supports Pieta House, an organisation that does some incredible work.

The Blue Knights, here in Ireland, have done some pretty amazing work all through the lockdowns and are to be commended for doing so. You’d nearly forgive their members for putting those points on your licence when you see the joy on the children’s faces who are benefiting from their help. Nearly, just not quite.

So if you’ve organised something like this in the past and are thinking about getting back to it please know that the coming season will offer a number of challenges as well as a number of opportunities. What we will do is we’ll help you with whatever we can. We’ll promote the run, we’ll help you map it, we’ll nominate charities and causes and we’ll even put a crew together to lead it if you like.

If you haven’t and it’s about time that you did then feel free to get in touch with us and we’ll point you in the direction of an event that could do with your assistance. So it’s November and while it’s not an ideal time to ride, it’s a great time to plan. If someone as obnoxious as me can help out then what’s keeping you? So get your finger out and we’ll assist.

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