Harley-Davidson UK shares bikers’ insights into riding as an aid to mental wellbeing in the run up to world mental health day 2020

In a series of video shorts created by Harley-Davidson UK, motorcycle riders from all walks of life have shared their personal insights into how biking has helped them to maintain mental wellness and cope with difficult times in their lives. The series has been shared ahead of World Mental Health Day 2020 to demonstrate how two wheels can provide escape and freedom in many different ways.

The six-part series includes former professional athletes coping with early retirement, women whose lives have been irreversibly changed by serious accidents and injuries, a male model who has found freedom from addiction and a second male model whose carefree life is now just a distant memory after becoming a new parent for the first time during lockdown isolation. Each of them has talked openly about their struggles to find balance and the feelings of freedom that even just a short amount of time on a motorcycle gives them.

Shaina West, stuntwoman
An accident five years ago turned Shaina’s life upside down in more ways than she could have imagined. Within a few months she had lost her job, her relationship and her confidence. Having already been diagnosed with chronic anxiety, she decided to fight back, reinventing herself as a martial arts-skilled, motorcycle-riding stuntwoman.

Iwan Thomas, former Olympian & TV presenter
Forced retirement in your early 20s after being at the top of your game as a Team GB athlete can be difficult to deal with but, given his early success, Iwan felt ashamed to talk about feeling low and was left feeling isolated. Biking has always been his escape.

Vanessa Ruck, social media influencer
After being hit by a car while out cycling in 2014, the physical injuries Vanessa sustained threatened to completely change her active lifestyle. Unable to enjoy her usual adrenaline sports, she turned to motorcycling as a new way to enjoy the thrill of freedom and being outdoors.

Ricki Hall, model
Living life one day at a time has become increasingly important to Ricki since choosing sobriety. Riding helps him to live in the moment and is an important part of the structure that helps him maintain balance in his life.

Christian Williams, model
Just a year ago, Christian felt young and carefree, picking up his girlfriend on his motorcycle for dates and using two wheels to escape the pressure of city life, but the arrival of his first child, son Blake, during Covid-19 lockdown has changed his life in many ways. The one constant has been his use of two wheels to help clear his head, when needed.

Tommy Brady, former Olympian
A focused mindset and training twice a day were characteristics of Tommy’s life as a Team GB athlete, but early retirement provided more time to think than he had ever experienced in his adult life. Learning to ride is part of his journey of reconnecting with himself and the planet.

For more information on Harley-Davidson UK visit www.harley-davidson.com/gb/en/index.html

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