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Name an unsung riding hero

Published: 23 September 2001

We already honour the greatest rider of the year with our annual MCN Man of the Year accolade. And we recognise the best in motorcycling products, services and models with a series of other important awards. But this year we will also honour an ordinary motorcyclist who you think deserves to be recognised.

The MCN Motorcyclist of the Year is the peoples’ award. MCN editor Rob McDonnell said: " We want to recognise the great achievements and feats of the everyday motorcyclist and we want to make sure the world knows about them, too.

" This is your chance to highlight these unsung heroes and help MCN raise the profile of what’s good about the people in motorcycling.

" Normally it’s the racers who get all the plaudits, but we want to give a bit of glory to the sort of people who help make motorcycling better for all of us. "

Anyone can nominate themselves or a friend for the title, and the list of criteria is... well, non-existent.

McDonnell added: " We want to hear about any story that makes you proud to be a motorcyclist. We want to hear about the Good Samaritans, the fund-raisers, the brave, the heroes and the humble.

" Riders are often reluctant when it comes to singing their own praises, so we’ll do it. "

Obvious candidates include those who spend their spare time working for charities, organising Christmas toy runs and fund-raising events. Or people who work with the community to raise awareness of bikes. Then there are the volunteers whom we tend to take for granted, like the guys who keep an eye on your bike at weekly meets, or hundreds of race marshals who spend their weekends watching you on a track day. Professionals aren’t excluded, either. You may know of an instructor who gives up his weekends to give people with disabilities the chance to ride, or a bike -riding medic who saves lives for a living.

Then there are the stories of courage which are an inspiration to us all. If you’re looking for an example, how about Yamaha R1 rider Darrin Sharp and Roger Poynton, from Cambridge. Both regularly ride, even though they’ve lost the use of an arm. And both have put hours into helping others ride after a similar fate befell them.

Steve Poole, who also rides an R1 one-handed, said: " They’ve both put a lot of time into helping others and would be ideal candidates for this kind of award. "

Then there’s Pete Griffiths from Bristol, who is back on two wheels despite being paralysed from the chest down. He’s also a source of advice – as well as inspiration – for those who want to follow his lead.

Nominating someone for our award couldn’t be easier – just send an e-mail to sam.williams@emap.com by October 17, 2001, including the name of your nominee, the reasons for your nomination and your own contact details.

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