For the first time, MCN is proud to honour, in its Awards, the ordinary British motorcyclist.
Why? Well because some of things that they do are amazing. Hardly a week goes by when we at the MCN offices do not hear of a story which we feel ought to have more recognition.
It could be a tale of amazing courage where despite terrible circumstances or disability someone overcomes all the odds to ride a motorcycle ride again.
It might be a tale of amazing bravery carried out by a motorcyclist, an act which makes us all feel proud.
Or it could be a story of selflessness. A story about individuals who give up days, weeks, even months of their spare time, or spend their own cash, to help enrich the motorcycling lives of others.
It could be anyone from a club president to a corner marshal at the race track.
And who here has not come across one of those incredibly dedicated people who give up their own time to campaign for our rights, or who every weekend, come rain or shine can be seen training other motorcyclists to be better, safer riders.
So this year we present our Motorcyclist of the Year Award for the first time.
The bronze award goes to Darren Andrews, a motorcycle courier whose bravery and quick thinking has already earned him a national award and a commendation from the Metroplitan Police.
Darren, a 30 year old courier based in London, chased a mugger through the streets of London on his bike and then on foot before wrestling him to the ground and holding him until the police arrived. His actions led to a successful prosecution.
The chase had begun after Darren discovered a 78-year-old man covered in blood staggering around in the streets of Hammersmith.
The silver award goes to a very different kind of motorcyclist, Mark Hillier, who was born with only one leg and other disabilities due to Thalidomide.
Mark has always wanted to pass his test and ride a motorcycle and following an article last year about paralysed biker Peter Griffith, he found the incentive he needed.
First he bought a Honda Hornet which he spent time modifying. Then one year later, and one week after his 40th birthday, Mark became the first disabled biker pass the Direct Access test on a modified motorcycle.
His determination and ingenuity makes him an inspiration to us all.
But it is the man who was Mark’s inspiration in the first place who is the inaugural winner of the MCN Motorcyclist of the Year Award.
He was told that he would never be well enough to ride again. He was told that getting insurance was an impossible dream. And he was told that there would never be a system to allow someone as disabled as him to ride off from a standstill.
But as he lay in his hospital bed in 1990, paralysed from the waist down, Peter Griffiths refused to accept defeat.
Just days before Peter had been knocked off his bike by a car on a roundabout in Bath. Now all he was thinking about was how to get back on a bike.
Now, several years and £12,500 later Peter can regularly be seen riding his Honda FireBlade which he has lovingly converted to enable him to ride it unaided.
He can now get from his wheel chair on to the bike, all the controls are hand operated and a set of pneumatically operated stabilisers, which can be retracted once he is on the move, mean Peter can now ride off and stop without being assisted. And he’s got insurance.
His incredible tale of determination has literally been inspirational to both able bodied and disabled bikers across the country.
The MCN Motorcyclist of the Year for 2001 is Peter Griffiths.