Online motorcycle platform supporting riders’ mental health from Havant headquarters gets boost from Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride funding initiative

A MOTORBIKE platform supporting riders’ mental health has been given a funding boost.

Friday, 2nd July 2021, 4:35 pm

Aiming to connect middle-aged motorcyclists, Bike Directory is an online system where motorbike businesses can list upcoming events.

The Havant-based organisation is one of three UK projects now benefiting from an initiative supporting men’s mental health and prostate cancer groups.

Funding has come from The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride’s Social Connections Challenge, which recently injected almost £650,000 into nine projects around the world.

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Martin Northern, project leader. Picture: Mike Cooter (020721)

Martin Northern, project leader of Bike Directory, says that the funding means more can be done to help riders across the country connect with one another.

Martin, 41, a qualified first aider, said: ‘The idea is that we are trying to connect motorcyclists to each other to help with their mental health. We want people to start a conversation.

‘Now we’ve got a budget and we can build a platform that’s more robust.

‘The first two months are going to be dedicated to rebuilding what we’ve done by revamping the online system - we want to put the information into people’s hands.’

Martin Northern from Bike Directory, which just won funding to support the biking community. Picture: Mike Cooter (020721)

Martin started the directory as a pet project in 2017 while recovering from knee surgery as he struggled to find places where riders were going to socialise and share their passion.

He said: ‘My grandad used to race motorcycle sidecars when I was a kid, so I’ve always liked bikes, but I never got around to doing my test until I was about 32.

‘Myself and my friends were trying to find places to ride, and there was nowhere we could find out what was happening - the magazines we read would only cover events that had already happened.’

The five strong Bike Directory team, who are looking forward to the British Superbikes event in August, are also working on a series of creative wellbeing workshops which they hope to start later this year.

Although the directory is aimed at middle-aged riders, Martin says that they would not turn away anybody who reached out to them.

Martin, who lives in Southsea, said: ‘This demographic is particularly hard to get to talk, but we’ve got something in common and people can choose to get involved at whatever level they want.’

Bike Directory also works with the charity Mental Health Motorbike.

Find out more at bikedirectory.co.uk