When I was 21, I toured around India. Anyone who has been there will know that there isn’t much of a Highway Code. They are equally as relaxed about hiring vehicles. "Take what u want tattooed guy" was uttered as soon as I walked into the bike hire shop. Although a moped was the easy option and I had no idea how to change gears on a motorbike, I decided to wing it and take a shot on a real bike.
Instantly, I fell in love.
Not many of my friends had a bike license but as soon as I got back to Scotland I took my test and then bought my first motorbike. Admittedly it wasn’t your typical ‘Easy Rider’ bike but more Valentino Rossi. Whenever the weather was semi decent ( and more often than not when it wasn't ) I was out trying to drop my knee and feel that breeze. There was nothing quite like it.
Fast forward a few years and other things in my life started to take priority. My first child Chad was on his way so summer’s nights could no longer be spent out scaring myself at every corner. Instead, they were spent doing paperwork or late night cuts to make sure my, then fiancee, and Chad would have everything they needed. It broke my heart to do it but the Suzuki GSXR had to go. There is only one thing worse than not having something in this life and that’s having it but not using it.
It wasn’t long before life started to ease up again and although I was still snowed under with work and family I felt like I needed that release of taking the bike out for a ride again. Those longer nights were coming in and the urge was killing me. As much as i still loved sports bikes and the thrill of speed my "sensible hat" was on and I'd already started shopping around for my dream bike from Harley Davidson. My jaw almost hit the floor when i discussed it with my soon to be wife and she uttered the words "ok but as long as it's a Harley" ..........Ummmm oooook :) I knew i had a keeper right there and then! I decided to get in touch with the amazing guys over at West Coast Harley Davidson who went to work customising my very own Sportster 883 which was unveiled at last years Great British Barber Bash in Glasgow.
We even used the bike in my wedding, naturally ;)
I soon realised that many of my peers shared my love of riding. Whether it's because every person who is as stressed with business and life in general as we are needs a release or just because riding bikes is so much god damn fun, it is something that I have bonded with lots of guys in the industry over especially Luka Chitty of Lukas Barbers.
After a few rum fuelled conversations together with our brother Ryan Smith of SB Barbers, we decided to mix our loves of riding and barbering to raise money for two very important charities, Great Ormond Street Hospital Charity and The Lions Barber Collective. We've always been about giving back and doing what we can for others and both these amazing charities are very close to our heart.
Barbersride 2017 will see us ride from Dundee to London over the course of 5 days stopping off along the way at various locations to take part in seminars featuring some of the countries most talented barbers. With major sponsors like Rockstar Energy, Captain Fawcett & Reuzel already on board, we also have official backing from Harley Davidson themselves which we are over the moon about.
With just a few little details to finalise we should have a full tour map, venue list and barber line up confirmed any day now which we can't wait to share with everyone. Our website will be live soon but you can head on over there now and sign up for updates as soon as they happen - www.barbersride.com.
You can follow Barbersride 2017 on Instagram @barbersride for updates on when tickets will become available, which barbers are involved and of course who is all coming on the ride of the year.