There were so many votes for the shortlist of the Carole Nash Biking Heroes competition that the intended top 10 list had to become a top 11! But after another round of voting, the three finalists have now been selected ahead of Motorcycle Live.
The three finalists will all appear at Motorcycle Live at the NEC with an overall winner announced live at the show on November 18.
Meet the contenders
The three finalists are Talan Skeels-Piggins, Chrisy Thomson and Karen Neill, who were all nominated for their herculean contributions to motorcycling. They each have their own stories to tell, but they didn’t nominate themselves – it’s the people who admire them most who have thrust them into the limelight.
The final winner of the Biking Hero crown will be presented with a trophy, and the person who nominated them with a cheque. First prize is £1000, second prize is £600, and third prize £400 – all supplied by Carole Nash.
Nominated by Nik Dean
In March 2003 Talan was knocked off his motorcycle and thrown under the path of the oncoming traffic. The accident left him paralysed from the chest down and he thought he would never ride a motorcycle again. Eight years later Talan was back riding a motorbike on UK trackdays and felt the importance of teaching others how to do the same. He set up ‘The Bike Experience’ in April 2011, a charity that teaches motorcyclists who have been disabled to ride again, through the provision of an adapted and modified motorcycle which allows them to ride in a safe environment. Over a period of three years more than 75 disabled motorcyclists have learned to ride again and he’s also become the first ACU-accredited paralysed racer to race with able-bodied racers.
Nominated by Louise Roughton
Chrisy has dedicated many hours of his own time to supporting, helping and fundraising for others in order to bring together a hugely successful and enjoyable biking group called Midlands Riders. This group really wouldn’t be what it is without Chrisy. The group formed in 2015 and since then Chrisy has created something truly amazing, he has given endless hours of support to people in and out of the biking community including planning and leading rideouts to visit young children with autism, supported victims of the Manchester terrorism attack, raised over £1000 for Midlands Air Ambulance, surprised members of the group by supporting them on their wedding days, organising prom rides for youngsters and hosting family days. His most successful community event being the ‘Matlock Bath ride’ on in March 2016 to campaign against parking charges in the town, which have since been dropped. Midlands Riders will openly tell you how much the group has changed their lives, helping and supporting them to get out and about meeting new people through riding their bike.
Nominated by Anton Shelupanov
Karen Neill, owner of North London’s Zenith Motorcycles, is a true British biking hero. Karen is the only woman in Britain who owns and runs a motorcycle garage. In Zenith Motorcycles Karen runs a unique social business. It is a hub for North London’s biker community, and over the last few years it’s hosted dozens of young people for work experience: many of them from disadvantaged backgrounds, some with disabilities. Their experiences have been transformative, some who barely spoke when they arrived came away with a new-found confidence and self-belief at the end of their placement. Karen has also hosted or participated in many charity events which have benefitted good causes to the tune of over £50,000. She has encouraged dozens of women to take up motorcycling, campaigned tirelessly against motorcycle theft, and does amazing work in road safety education. The local council has recognised her with two awards for her tireless community work: ‘Haringey Hero’ and ‘Unsung Women of Haringey’.
You can see the winner crowned at Motorcycle Live – which takes place from November 18-26 at the NEC in Birmingham.
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