Giving Black Friday: National Association for Bikers with a Disability (NABD)
Established in 1991, the NABD was set up by six bikers from Stockport and Manchester who would not accept the idea that disabled people could not ride. They believed that those with disabilities could, like everyone else, ride motorcycles, scooters, sidecar outfits, trikes or quad-cycles. And experience the joy and exhilaration that we all know comes with it.
Over the last 30 years, the charity has helped an incredible 11,000 disabled people to enjoy the independence and freedom of motorcycling. They’ve also been instrumental in setting up support groups for disabled motorcycles in Norway, Sweden, France, Japan and the USA.
Who does the NABD help?
A bike (and its rider!) with a Kliktronic gear changer adaptation for left leg amputee
The NABD helps both those with disabilities who would like to get into motorcycling and motorcyclists who find themselves needing adaptations to their bike due to a new disability.
Whatever their situation, bikers can get in touch with the NABD to ask for advice and anyone requiring an adaptation to their vehicle can apply for a grant of between £250 and £2000 to make it happen. The NABD believes that, "with the correct adaptations and a little ingenuity, disability need not be a handicap [when it comes to motorcycling]".
The NABD also engages with driving authorities to ensure that motorcyclists with disabilities are not unfairly penalised by vehicle and/or licensing legislation. Most recently, the NABD have removed barriers to participation for people with disabilities by negotiating exemptions to licensing/vehicle rules.
One person who has been helped by the NABD is a very special member of the Beeline community, John!
John back on his bike and participating in the NHS “Ride of Thanks” earlier this year
Now 74, John has been riding bikes since the day he got his licence on 16th birthday in 1963. Over the years, he’s ridden for fun, on charity ride outs and for Blood Bikes but treatment for a brain tumour in 2017 caused him to lose most of the use of his right arm.
Fearing that his riding days might have been behind him, John spoke to his brother-in-law who suggested that John contact the NABD for advice. Very soon after that, John found that he was the recipient of a grant that made it possible for him to continue riding; the NABD provided much of the money required to modify his bike with a left hand throttle and brake. Fantastic!
What will our money go towards?
An NABD learner on one of their loaner bikes
The NABD pays for all its running costs via its own fundraising events, so 100% of donation money goes towards funding bikes for training and assessment, loaner bikes to help riders decide which adaptations they might need and grants for adaptations.
As an example, Beeliner John (above) was given a grant of £1,000 towards the cost of modifications required to adapt his bike so that he could still use it following treatment for a brain tumour. If we can match our 2020 fundraising total, we could provide enough money for several smaller grants for riders like him.