5 November 2011

A hero is no braver than an ordinary man, but he is braver five minutes longer.

 Small Hobbit said..
How about who your biking heroes are and why? 
There are current riders I like. Guy Martin, Valentino Rossi - Marco Simoncelli, until he died tragically a couple of weeks ago. And many more, for different reasons.
But when I was young, and for many many reasons, my hero was Joey Dunlop.

He was an amazing rider - he won three hat-tricks at the Isle of Man TT and I don't think there were many years he didn't win at least one race.

Sadly he died racing, in an accident in 2000. Gone but not forgotten - the most succesful rider at the TT now gets awarded the 'Joey Dunlop Cup'. 50,000 people showed up to his funeral. Bikers from all over the world, people from his home town, friends, colleagues, fans - everyone.

But he wasn't just a rider. He also worked tirelessly for charity. He never mentioned it, and ensured his trips all happened on the off-season for racing. He used his team truck for his bikes to drive to Bosnia or Romania, taking food and supplies, and helped Romanian orphanages. He said he was more proud of his charirty work than his racing, despite almost no one knowing he did it.

In 1986 he got an MBE for his services to racing. In 1996 he got an OBE for his charity work.
An amazing man.
There you go. As always, feel free to ask more questions. Comments help the nightshift go faster... (apologies if I disappear like I did last night. Those damn criminals demanding my time).


John H. D. Watson said...

He does sound amazing.

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

He was. A very humble, modest man who just wanted to do his best.

He once said “I never really wanted to be a superstar. I just want to be myself. I hope that’s how people remember me.”

Desert Wanderer said...

A very humble, modest man who just wanted to do his best.

Those are the very best kind of people. I'm sure we all know people like that, who never get enough credit until it's too late.

REReader said...

Sounds like he had his priorities straight--a very good man.

Small Hobbit said...

Thank you for answering my question and for highlighting someone I wouldn't immediately have thought of, although I had obviously heard of him as a rider. A real hero.

And I'm very taken with your heading, it's one I shall have to remember.

Hope the rest of your night shift goes well.

Rider said...

Joey Dunlop did a video about the Island. THere's a lap done on a bike with an on-bike camera, and Joey's commentary talking about what it's like to ride the Island course at over 100mph...

Things like "coming up to here you apex that corner so the tree just brushes your shoulder so you can hit the apex on the next one but lift your head so your helmet doesn't hit the stone wall..."

Ro said...

Now, that's a worthy hero. Nice one. I'd never heard of him at all, thanks for telling us about him!

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