Updated: Dec 21, 2018
Joe here - the ability to ride on two wheels is not the only thing that connects my right hand man, Alan Hamilton and me.
Our friendship began on two wheels, one dark and rainy night in 1998.
I was returning home from spectating at the Tour De France on my motorbike, Alan was returning home from Scotland on his motorbike, we both rocked up to the Stranraer Ferry soaked through. It was a terrible night and we commiserated, as you do, about being out in the wet and cold. Funny, how things don’t change.
We’ve been friends ever since and we’ve ridden motorbikes together for years.
Alan picks the perfect line through every corner. It’s a hard thing to do. He has advanced training qualifications through the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM). Needless to say he’s a pretty accomplished driver on 2 and 4 wheels.
He’s covered my back for tens of thousands of miles in the crew car. He’s taught many in the team the intricacies of driving in an endurance race. It’s also harder than you think, particularly on busy US roads or sweeping European descents in the dark.
I’m extremely proud of the fact that Alan is now donating his advanced skill set and volunteering for a new group of Blood Bikes, a charity that falls under the umbrella of Community Rescue Services.
Blood Bikes riders can be called upon to transport urgent medical equipment, clinical samples or a variety of blood/plasma products to any UK and Ireland facility, day or night. It’s a completely free service to the NHS and 100% volunteer run.
It’s been in operation since the 1960’s and covers over 30 regions in the UK.
However, it’s a brand new service covering the North West region of Northern Ireland.
Alan got his first call-out this week at 1:30am. He’s pretty used to being up at night providing me cover and light. I’m so pleased that he was covering someone else this time. Someone in critical condition who needed urgent medical supplies – that’s Alan Hamilton to a tee.
If you see him or anyone else on a Blood Bike please raise a hand and acknowledge the volunteer rider. They are busy making a difference in someone’s life.
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