A brief history of the NABD

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The NABD was set up in April 1991 by six bikers from Stockport and Manchester who would not accept the idea that disabled people could not ride motorcycles, scooters, or trikes.
The initial project was to find a way to adapt a motorcycle for a rider who had suffered the amputation of his lower left leg in a road traffic accident. A fund raising party was organised and publicised locally and this prompted several other disabled people to contact the group asking whether it was possible for them also to ride motorcycles. Within 12 months the NABD had just over 100 members and had helped three disabled people to adapt motorcycles and ride independently. Each adaptation had to be designed from scratch the money raised and the engineering problems solved, but from this small beginning the NABD was later to become the world leader in the field of motorcycling for people with disabilities.

The NABD is regularly consulted on issues relating to disabled motorcycling by the DVLA, DfT, VOSA, DSA, and MAVIS.

The NABD operates a system of financial grants to help with the cost of special adaptation work to bikes, scooters, combos and trikes, necessary to suit the needs of disabled riders.
These grants range from £100.00 to £1,400.00 dependant on the type of machine and the particular requirements of the rider.
Financial grants for the current fiscal year are expected to be well in excess of £60,000.00.

The adaptations that are available are myriad, ( check out the NABD website @ www.nabd. org and the disabled biker forum @   www.forum.disabledbiker.co.uk  I myself have benefited from a grant and have a thumb brake fitted to my GSXR.
I got involved with the NABD after meeting a guy called Mick who has a right arm Brachial Plexus Injury.
He was still riding a GSX 750 with an adaptation he and his dad developed in their garage.

I have met many bikers that the Association has helped in its sixteen year history and all of them cite the NABD as the organisation that helped them back into biking. Personally I think the NABD gave me a huge chunk of my life back as I had been off bikes for about 7 years following a car crash in Wales (blonde on her mobile pulled out in front of me)

I joined the NABD 5 years ago and have not looked back, I ride when I can and spend a large part of my time promoting the great work the Association does with regards getting bikers with a disability back onto the road. I also worked on the National committee for two years and took great satisfaction from the stories people told me about them getting back on the road with the assistance and grants offered by the NABD.

Even though I am no longer able to devote the time to help with the day to day running of the association I still try to promote the NABD everywhere I go and will do so as long as I am able. I have never met a finer bunch of dedicated people in all of my 42 years on our little spinning orb.

The social side of the NABD has gained an excellent reputation over the years. We hold small fundraising parties around Britain throughout the year. We also run two ‘full blown’ rallies annually.
Our major national event is the ‘You’ve Been Nabbed’ Rally in Cheshire (May), the next is our 16th. Past attendance has reached a staggering 3,000+ and it has gained the reputation of being one of the best events on the rally calendar. In addition to the range of live music in three marquees, bike/trike show, and disco’s we have, a comedy club (courtesy of Manchester’s famous ‘Frog & Bucket’ Comedy Club), a real ale marquee, street entertainers, children’s rides, and loads of trade stands and nice cheap beer on 3 bars.
We have also recently had our 6th Autumn Nabd’ness event at Cornbury Park in Oxfordshire (September) and this looks like becoming a firm favourite with many bikers.

I have been to several NABD rallies and fund raisers and can safely say apart from actually riding my bike they are probably the most fun I have ever had with my clothes on. I will be at this years rally even if it’s just for one day on a day ticket. I have to admit after living under canvass for a long time when I was in the military I am none too keen on camping out, but with the rally only being in Cheshire it is close enough to visit on a day ticket. If only to watch the comedy club and Rick Hulse (NABD Chairman) compere the show.
Both are brilliant and not to be missed.

I must admit that I have used large chunks of an article Rick wrote to get my article done as fast as possible and I’d like to thank him for allowing me to do so. Credit where credits due and all that. I did however get his permission as I needed to get the facts about the beginings of the NABD right.

In conclusion all I can say is this. Thanks to the NABD I can get out on my bike and enjoy life and so can thousands of other bikers who thought they’d never ride again.

Long may it continue and I urge anyone who rides a bike or trike to pop into the NABD website and forum to see the many adaptations and the success stories that are there. I also hope to see some of The Brit Chopper readers there.

I’ll be the tubby bald bloke with the can of coke in my hand lying about laughing my head off. See if you can spot me amongst all the other tubby bald blokes doing the same.

Take it easy out there and lets all look out for bikes, you never know it may be a mate that’s approaching the junction you are about to pull out from. It may even be me and I already have enough trouble just getting on the damn thing in the first place,

Hope to see some of you out and about.

Gary Seddon NABD volunteer

Huge chunks of this reproduced with the kind permission of the NABD and Rick Hulse (NABD chairman.) The NABD can be contacted on the websites in the article or on 0870 759 0603 between 10 am and 3pm weekdays