At the fare age of 32, I've never taken the time aside to learn how to drive a car or ride a motorcycle. In all honesty I have never really had the desire to do either, until now that is...
I have always admired motorbikes for as long as I can remember. As a kid I would watch motorcycle racing on my TV set, as well as visit my local race track every now and again to see them in action at Donington Park race track. Often amazed by the rider's ability to swoop effortlessly through sharp bends and make challenging corners look all too easy. I would sit glued to my seat in sheer amazement.
These are childhood memories that have never left my mind. So much so that I want to 'bite the bullet' so to speak, and help raise funds for a great cause in the process. Please allow me to explain in better detail...
At the age of 32, with little to no previous knowledge of riding a motorcycle, I am going to begin learning how to safely ride a motorcycle, beginning with my CBT (Compulsory Basic Training) this March.
Once I have successfully obtained my CBT certificate I'll be continuing to learn the ropes motorcycling and the rules of the road, readying myself to participate in a charity motorcycle event ride here in the Midlands, smartly titled 'The Beard & The Bike' Charity Ride.
This September I've set myself a personal goal to take my newfound motorcycle skills to the road and visit three local hospitals. Derby, Nottingham and Leicester, where I will be visiting the children's wards and donating gifts and presents to those less fortunate, on the hope of raising a smile or two upon their faces along the way.
Throughout the entire process I am asking for donations to be made through my GoFundMe page to directly raise funds and support Cancer Research UK, and have set a total goal target of £2,000. Every penny that is kindly donated will go directly to Cancer Research UK, which in turn helps kick cancers backside in the process.
We all know someone close or have been personally touched by the devastation caused by cancer. It can tear lives apart with little to no warning, and effects not only sufferers but their family and friends in the process.
I lost my Grandad to cancer in 2009 in what seemed like flash. One moment he was here, and the heart of our family, and the next he was gone. It all seemed to happen so suddenly and left us all almost empty. To be given the chance to give a little back to such a great cause means the world to me personally.
All of this has been made possible thanks to the amazing support shown by Lexmoto UK , an award winning motorcycle company who pride themselves in providing affordable motorcycles that not only look outstanding, but are robust and reliable too. The team will be supporting me each and every step of the way. Without their good will and support I might have never taken these key first steps forward to learn to ride, and for that, I sincerely thank you.
Dates, times and locations are yet to be confirmed, although I am aiming for September 2017. I will be updating my GoFundMe page with any updates as and when they happen.
You can also keep up to speed by following myself, Lexmoto and The Beard Struggle on our social media platforms. Twitter - @ShadEO9 and Instagram - @ShadEO9. Instagram - @Lexmoto_Official, Twitter - @Lexmoto and you'll also find them on Facebook.
I'll also be recording my entire journey from start to finish, then uploading my adventures directly to YouTube as often as possible, as well as covering the road ahead in the form of a written blog that will be published over on www.TheBeardStruggle.com.
Please remember, every penny you kindly donate really does help, and no donation is ever considered too small.
In the meantime, if you do have any comments or questions you would like to ask then please do not hesitate to ask away in the comments section you'll find provided below, as I would be only too happy to answer them.
Thank you for taking the time to read and support my cause! And please feel free to share whenever and wherever you possibly can!
Fran O'Reilly (The Beard Struggle Blogger & 'The Beard & The Bike Organiser)