Updated Monday: Your Unsung Heroes

Published: 18 November 2002

We’ve just added more of nominations for your Unsung Heroes – the forum for you to publicly thank the people who’ve bailed you out. We’ll be announcing the first winners of our free Knox kit, worth £180, this Friday, November 29.

Click on the link on the right to read how you can send your nominations to motorcyclenews.com.

Each week we’ll pick a winner and both the nominator and the unsung hero get a Knox back protector and Knox Cold Killer balaclava each - a prize worth £180.

Here are the first nominations:

From Richard Baker in Birmingham:

I'd like to make a joint nomination of my mates Paul & Cath (both bikers). Since I started riding last year Paul has been passing on a lot of his know-how & helping out with showing me the ins & outs of repairs and maintenance being mostly one part hard work to two parts sheer invective ;-)

Not only did they come out and rescue me when the starter solenoid packed in on my bike, but they also gave it a home in their dining room for a week when we found out the starter motor had died two days later.

As if that wasn't enough they then, just a fortnight later, put it up for another four days while I had to get new front fork legs put on due to fork pitting & blown oil seals.

To top it all off Paul dropped everything & came out to help after I had my first off on diesel when a car pulled out in front & gave me a pillion spot to get to the Welsh Show with an arm in plaster... A pair of true knights in shining leather!

From Gary Wilkins:

My recommendation for the accolade is Tim Orr of Big Rock Racing Holidays. The reason is that my Ducati 955 broke down in the middle of the Ferrous tunnel (11km long) on the French /Italian border on the way to the World Ducati Weekend.

I nearly gassed myself due to the fumes! I was rescued after about 10 minutes and we managed to get the bike to Turin for repairs. A big thank you is therefore called for!

From Marvin Wilman in Leeds:

I would like to get a mention for my dad, Phillip, who not only lets me ride his bike, but also allows me to fill HIS garage with my sh*te. Sorry dad I know it’s time I had a clearout.

Then there's all those years he stood in the rain freezing his knackers off watching me ride my trials bike when I was a sprog. Go on - give him a mention then he won’t throw all my stuff out in the rain!

From Dylan Kimble in Bradford:

A couple of years back I was out for a Saturday thrash with my brother, I had a ZX6R at the time. After a very enjoyable ride, my brother and I parted company. He went home and I set-up to go home via Selby. The level crossing was shut for a train and while I was waiting a few more bikes turned up.

As the barrier went up it was like the start of a race - we all went for it. I was leading, when a car pulled out and I hit it. I flew over the car and cracked myself on the head.

A bloke on a Kawasaki cruiser witnessed the entire event. He had managed to calm the driver down and keep him away from me, getting all the insurance details in the process. He then came to me and offered to have the remains of my bike garaged (for no cost) and give me a life home on his bike.

I was so confused I couldn’t remember where I lived, but knew it was over Leeds way, he simply said: " Don't worry, I'm sure you’ll remember on the way home. "

Just on the outskirts of Leeds my memory came back and I directed him to my house. In Bradford. His round trip will have been around 40-50 miles. He had told his misses he was nipping out for half and hour.

He wouldn't accept any money or anything and simply rode off.

I don't know the name of this guy, but know he worked in Selby as a photographer. I do not want any prize or credit for this tale at all, but only want to thank the guy from the bottom of my heart.

From Mammoth1986:

I’m still at school and don’t have a bike of my own. S, my unsung hero, D.Tagg, deserves a mention because he gives me a lift on his bike to all the races that we attend.

Not only that he often helps me out by giving me his bike to work on – sounds strange, but I’m training to be a mechanic and I need all the practice I can get!

From Spencer Gibbens:

About three years ago I had a Kawasaki ZX6-R – my first sports bike. Me and the guys from work used to take our bikes down to this café on Maddox St. in London. We got to know the owner, Tony, pretty well – he’d just bought himself a new ZX-12R.

Following a prang on the way to Box Hill, I was left bikeless while I scoured breakers yards looking for a coolant bottle to put it right.

It was a long wait, but finally one of them called me back while I was polishing off my coffee at Tony’s - I said I’d be right over.

I was ready to make the long slog on the bus, but as I was walking out the door I jokingly asked Tony if I could borrow his ZX-12R.

Without looking up from the bacon roll he was building, he reached for his keys, threw them over the counter and just said " Don’t kill it " ! What a bloody hero...what a bloody nutter.

From Ed Worstenholme:

I got knocked off my BMW R1100GS yesterday morning on the way to Leeds. It was rideable but the front end wasn't straight and the ABS was malfunctioning, so I headed off down to Rainbow MC's in Sheffield.

Once there one of the mechanics went through all the damage on the bike and whilst I was having a coffee he restarted the ABS and realigned the forks in the yokes. I'd only asked them if they might be able to look at the ABS. And the charge for all this? Absolutely free and very much appreciated.

From Fazerboy:

Hi, this title has to go to Keith, my best friend. We worked together, and when I bought a new Fazer 600 in April 2000 he was always ribbing me coz he wanted another bike. His car died (peacefully) and so bought a Fazer just before Christmas.

After the New Year (snow permitting) we were out most weekends. Unfortunately I had an accident on the way home from a ride-out, real nasty head-on with a car.

Keith was following me at the time, as I lay there bleeding from a smashed leg/knee he just kept reassuring me until the air-ambulance arrived. I was flown to the nearest hospital and he followed as best he could.

After resuscitating me and stabilising my injuries and giving me 4 pints of blood my fiancee eventually caught up as I went to St James in Leeds.

Keith was still there- approximately 10 hours after the accident! I have recently bought another bike but Keith would have happily allowed me to go pillion – even though I’ve got a broken leg. Next year going to the TT together ! Not going to give up my favourite hobby even though it nearly killed me. Best friend’s for life no-matter what.

From Peter Wilson:

I'd like to nominate two guys. Dave Akrigg who arranged lots of visitors for me while I was in hospital I was knocked off my bike. He also brought me loads of clothes so I could stop wearing the rubbish hospital gown with the draughty back and took me out on pub / supermarket / restaurant trips after I got out.

And Duncan Jones, who put me up for a week after I got out of hospital so that I could learn how to get around on crutches (especially stairs) and who also helped with the pub / supermarket / restaurant duties.

Both guys gave up a lot of time to help me speed up my recovery unlike the git who knocked me off who has spent the last 18 months lying about the accident to everyone with no consideration of the pain and financial costs to me.

From Andy Ward:

I’d like to nominate John "legend" Ward without whom I'd still be stuck in southern France (hmmm, maybe not such a bad thing). We were 60 miles from civilisation when I picked up a puncture. And I’d forgotten to pack a puncture repair kit - or emergency cover.

It was almost night in a foreign country, but John took just two hours to come back with a puncture repair kit – and he’d found this fantastic B+B. A just a couple of hours later we were boozing at the local karaoke night. Nice one, John!

From Jay Carter:

I’d like to nominate my boyfriend Jamie Williams. Without his help I wouldn’t have been able to achieve my dream of having my own bike.

Not only did he pay for me to take my Direct Access course, he gave up loads of his free time to coach me through it. He even trusted me with his R1 in a local car park while I mastered my U-turns and I passed with flying colours.

I desperately wanted my own bike, but my work circumstances changed and I began to wonder whether I’d ever be able to afford one.

But once again Jamie came to my rescue. He bought me a crash damaged FZR600 and gave up evenings and weekends putting it back on the road for me. He works really hard, sometimes six days a week and to spend his money and time on my bike was so kind.

If it wasn’t for him I wouldn’t have it, it’s as simple as that. I just want him to know how much I appreciate everything he has done for me. He’s my unsung hero and an all-round great bloke.

From Dan Simpson in Essex:

I would like to nominate my dad Andy, for putting up with me while I get to grips with the biking world! I’m a new rider and he has been a great help, teaching me how to ride properly.

He also bailed me out when I had my first off and I didn’t have a clue what to do! He bought me all my kit s well so I’ve put a big hole in his wallet! Cheers dad.

From Nick Vanovereem:

Well this "Unsung Hero" is my best friend Vince Blosser. Way back I had a GSX-R1100 1991 (mint) that, unfortunately, I had to sell.

That bloke then sold it a year later to Vince. He later bought himself a FireStorm, and basically just lends me the precious GSX-R to ride whenever we go out. To me that’s the sign of a good friend!

From Paul Matwiy in California:

Time to nominate my friend Marc. I exposed him to the motorcycle bug (sickness his wife would say) over 10 years ago. Over the past years he’s not only owned more bikes than I ever have, but he’s surpassed me in riding capabilities as well.

During the summer five years ago I went through a terrible six-month chemotherapy treatment. On weekends when I wasn’t recovering, we either rode in the California hills or went off to see various AFM, AMA, or WSBK Superbike races.

So you see this was a " rescue " of sorts. I've partially paid back the favour carting home him from numerous club race crashes since then, but I'm still in his debt.

From Mike Sidebotham in Somerset:

I’d like to nominate Gary Edwards of Portsmouth as my Unsung Hero. I was working down in Portsmouth at the time and living in digs. My wife and I had booked to go to Assen WSB round last year on our Blackbird and were due on the Friday morning ferry from Harwich.

But on our way up to the ferry the electrical system on the Blackbird went, stranding us on the side of the motorway at 10 o’clock at night.

We got it recovered to our house, but it looked as though our trip was over before it started. I called Gary to moan about it and next thing he volunteers his Transalp as a replacement! Talk about highs and lows. It got my wife and I there and back - complete with luggage - without any drama. A testament to the bike but more to a mate who didn't think twice about giving up his beloved Honda (his only form of transport) to us for a four day, 500+ mile trip to Holland and back. This surely is the mark of a true friend and a worthy Unsung Hero.

From MOTORACA:

I once had a Suzuki Bandit while my mate Dave Dewar rode a Yamaha Diversion. We knew each other from work and both shared the same hobby – biking.

One Sunday we were out when I lost it on a sharp bend (due to a dodgy car driver), hit some gravel and was thrown into a large wall breaking ribs and my lower right leg in five places.

Dave hauled me up the road to safety, moved my Bandit from the road and called for assistance. He called another mate to pick up my bike and store it for me, let my family know I was okay and, when I eventually got out of hospital, he helped repair the bike.

It’s now five months after and we still ride out together.

I’ve learned a lot from that day -I tend to follow Dave all the time, he makes me realise you don’t have to be a nutter, you can ride fast and still be safe. He is an unsung hero and well worthy of this title.

From Paul Martin:

I would like to nominate my younger brother Tony. He got me into biking by persuading me to take my Direct Access course with him 5 years ago. I passed first time. He didn't! My first bike was a Suzuki RF900 which I promptly ran out of oil – and Tony rebuilt it for me.

I then bought a TLR, and sold him the RF. I’ve only had two accidents, but each time he has been brilliant. He’s dropped everything to come and rescue me and my bike.

Recently I moved house and needed to sell the TLR, and Tony bought it. Then told his wife! Oh, and he gave me the RF back as well! So I think it's about time for me to say " Thanks bro " , you have been brilliant over the last 5 years.

From Steve Hands in West Sussex

I’d like to nominate my boss Malcolm for the unsung hero award. I’d had a few money problems a while back, but I recently decided I’d like to get back into biking again. I tried everything to raise the money for a bike; loan companies, everything - but with no luck.

But casually two months ago my boss said " Find a bike, I’ll sort the money! " and on top of it all he only wants me to repay him exactly what he lent me with no interest. Cheers boss. Now I have a Kawasaki ZXR750 in my garage, without your help I would never have sorted my dream!

From Christopher Barrass:

I’d like to nominate Paul Gander, Phil Randall, Rod Carr and Sarah Payton. These are my Angels of Mercy. These guys has gone to extraordinary lengths to give help when I needed it most, yet they hardly knew me at the time.

Paul and Phil sorted me out after a major highside at Donington left me with a wrecked bike, a torn out collar bone, cracked ribs and hardly able to walk. We had only met a couple of times before the track day, yet they loaded up the wreckage, drove my car and trailer over to Nottingham Hospital, waited for the many hours I was in there, then drove me all the way home to the South East. They finally got home at some ungodly hour of the morning.

Rod and Sarah sorted me out after a major crash during a 4 hour Enduro (are you seeing a pattern here?) which smashed the platform of my knee.

I barely knew them, but they loaded the wreckage onto the trailer, looked after me in the madness of Reading Hospital, and got me home without any thought for themselves. Selfless b*ggers, and, best of all, now friends who regularly go riding together (probably just to try and keep me out of trouble!).

I’ve been around for a long time, and riding bikes on and off (mainly off, obviously!) for some 35 years, and there is nowhere but biking which has this level of camaraderie in my experience. So, Paul, Phil, Rod and Sarah - you deserve some recognition, and my heartfelt thanks to you all for your help and your friendship, you have made an old man very happy!

From Mark Haigh:

I would like to nominate Mark Neate from Vision Motorcycle Training in St Albans as an unsung hero. Following an accident with a car my bike was unrideable. Mark came out in his van, loaded my bike into the van and drove it back to my place of work for me. And he wouldn’t accept any payment for his troubles.

From John Wood:

I never got the name of the guy who helped me. All I know is that he works at a castle off of the A21.

It was four years ago and I had just bought my first bike, a Kawasaki KMX125. A group of us decided to go down to Camber and spend the evening partying on the beach. Unfortunately, three quarters of the way down I had a puncture (my brother was the only one to stop!). So we started to walk towards Camber when we noticed the sign for the castle and figured we’d give that a try.

We found this guy driving his lawnmower mowing the grounds and explained the situation. He drew my brother a map to the nearest bike shop for a new inner tube and left me to wonder around the castle.

When my brother got back this bloke took off my back wheel changed the inner tube and put it all back together again in about 10 minutes. I offered to give him money for the work, but he turned it down just saying " It’s alright mate, I'm a biker too " , he then got on his lawnmower and clattered off into the distance.

From Geerob:

I would just like to thank my brother’s unsung and unknown hero. It was at Cadwell Park this year. Me, my dad, my brother and his mate were riding up from Leicester for the weekend but my brother’s Aprilia RS 125 had died (melted piston) so it was stuck in Horncastle - about 3 miles from Cadwell.

Luckily a kind soul offered to look after his bike in the town square, kept it safe for five days and even helped to put in the van when we picked it up. So thanks - who ever you are!