The BigTour team attended the MCN Motorcycle Show at the ExCel Centre in London at the weekend.  Our mission?  To make contact with a reporter from Motorcycle News (MCN) and to get as many celebrities from the motorcycle and racing community as possible to autograph our spare helmet.  How did we do?  


We achieved it all!  


From the Adventure Bike legend that is Charley Boorman to the mad trio of motorcycle restorers, presenter Henry Cole, his partner in crime Guy “Skid” Willison, and engineering genius Allen Millyard; no one was safe from the Sharpie wielding Richard Fell.   


TT Riders John McGuinness, Michael Rutter and Current lap record holder Peter Hickman were all approached; as well as former Grand Prix rider, Steve Parrish, former World Superbike rider, James Whitham and current British Superbike Championship rider, Ryan Vickers.  


The measure of these gentlemen is that they were unfailingly polite and once they knew our story, eager to sign for us.  Henry and his merry band were especially enthralled when they knew we were ATCOs.  Henry is about to commence helicopter flying training and was keen to tell us his concerns.  The man has funny bones.  We were all laughing at some point.  


There was even a Henry Cole doppelgänger walking around the Show, which while funny to us, was “a little creepy” in the opinion of Allen Millyard.  


As usual, I was spreading the word to anyone and everyone.  And as luck would have it we met with a couple who’d been fooled by the fake Henry Cole.  After having a laugh they spotted our Prostate badges.  The husband had recently had AI prostate surgery.  Harvey and I chatted with him about side effects, and while he’s all clear, he still has side effect issues. The hardest part for both of us was seeing his wife’s “smiling mask” slip.  The strain that they had been under was massive, but hopefully they are coming out the other side.  


They took one of our last few (2500) business cards and said they’d take a look at what we’re trying to do.  


What Harvey and I took away from that conversation was how traumatising the whole experience had been for this couple.  The man had seen his GP about his arthritic hip and the doctor had asked in passing whether he’d had a PSA test or a check.  He hadn’t.  A quick examination revealed that he needed to see a specialist asap.  A week later he was being operated on.  No symptoms.  No issues.  No warnings whatsoever.  This is why we’re doing this trip.  To highlight the random nature of this disease.  To raise that awareness and to encourage every person with a prostate to get checked.  


Triumph UK welcomed us with open arms despite the stand being mobbed.  Amy and Matt from the UK Marketing dept arranged for an interview with a journalist from Motorcycle News.  He took copious notes and he’s now waiting for our photos to roll in before publishing.  In the motorcycling world this newspaper is a giant, so the publicity opportunity for us is huge.  


We met up and had a long chat with James Whitham and John McGuinness and we learned things.  The story about Valentino Rossi however cannot be written down.  After a couple of drinks… who knows? 


We’re now 9 weeks exactly from departure.  We have a visit to the Triumph factory and The National Motorcycle Museum next Friday. That will be the last chance for the 4 of us to be together before we get ready to depart.  


We’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has donated and supported us, both practically and financially.  We hope to see as many of you as possible as we travel to the 24 units.  


Wayne, Richard, Harvey and Shaun.