top of page


TBE Season 2023


The Bike Experience 2023

In 2023 The Bike Experience has been busy preparing bikes, instructing riders and demonstrating to crowds. The initial stage was the preparation of bikes and equipment, as well as finding a suitable venue that was also affordable. After much discussions it was decided to accept the offer from Silverstone to run the instructional events at the Old Copse Runway. The costs were more than previous years but over £1000 cheaper (per event) than at either Bicester Heritage or Donington.

The next problem was finding Public Liability Insurance. Over the years the charity has been in operation there has never been an accident involving any member of the public observing or taking part in the charity. However, we are required to have PLI and so tried to find affordable cover. Eventually we were able to source the cover for £7500, which was a huge increase from £4000 in 2019, but not as bad as some companies that were quoting £12,000.

The bike were serviced, repaired and prepared for the coming season. The leathers and riding equipment was all checked and the large trailer also serviced. The final preparation was the organising of the volunteers needed to run each event. We had planned three ‘new riders’ and a maximum of three ‘returning riders’. New riders are those who have never been, returning are those who have been to a TBE before, but do not get the opportunity to ride anywhere else. For example, one returning rider can only ride with TBE as he has a brain injury and is not allowed to ride on the road or on any race track. We provide the only place for him to enjoy the freedom of two wheels. In order to support the riders we need a team of twelve volunteers. There are three instructors, and nine ‘launch crew’.

In May we had a pair of back-to-back instructional events, both of which were fully booked for new riders and each had two returning riders. The days were blessed with sunshine and everyone turned up excited and nervous to get on two wheels.

The volunteers arrive at 8am in order to prepare the site, get the bikes out, lay out the coned course, conduct safety briefing and plan the day ahead. The riders then begin to arrive at 9.30am and get signed on, into riding equipment and ready to begin the day at 10.30am.

Throughout the day the riders developed from a basic ‘straight line’ launch and catch, to steering input and figure 8s. Once ready they move to larger coned circuit and are led by instructors around the course, whilst being observed by the main riding instructor of the day. The final stage is to allow the rider to circulate by themselves and re-discover the amazing feeling of freedom and enjoyment.

The six new riders all progressed to the final stage of the TBE instructional event. Each one felt a huge sense of achievement and of self-belief. The friends and family of the riders saw the joy on their faces and witnessed a new light shining in the eyes of the riders. There were five paralysed riders, one leg amputee, one brain injury and two stroke victims.

The third and fourth TBE instructional events took place on the 25th and 26th July. We were back at Silverstone and enjoyed another ‘dry weather’ window. The temperatures were not as high as before, so riders were not quite so baked in their leathers.

Over the course of the two days we had eight riders attend. It was a mixture of impairments: MS, Paraplegic, Amputee, TBI, Reduced mobility. No matter the impairment, each rider made progress throughout the day, and everyone was enjoying solo riding around the TBE course by the end of the session.

The second of the two days saw TBE visited by two representatives from the Mark Master Masons. It was the Mark Master Masons that generously donated the funds that enabled the charity to buy the Land Rover which tows the TBE trailer. Without the donation we would not be able to transport any of the equipment, so we are extremely grateful to them.

There were three events in September, two at Silverstone and one at RAF Odiham. Once again we were extremely lucky with the weather and enjoyed three more days of sunshine.

At Silverstone we hosted ten riders over two days and at RAF Odiham we had four riders. At both events it was a 50/50 mix of riders who were there for the first time and riders who had been before (although be it for some, about nine years ago).

Due to peoples experience and function, there was a spread of ability in the riding. However all managed to circulate the coned area on their own by the end of the days instruction. This gave them a huge boost in confidence and self-belief, which was readily apparent by the animated conversations happening at the end of the day.

Odiham began really well, but unfortunately due to an incident on the airfield which was totally separate to what the charity was doing, the day came to end at lunchtime rather than in the afternoon. The riders had quickly progressed on that day, so all had experienced independent riding of the circuit laid out.

The volunteers did a fantastic job supporting and instructing the riders, without them the days would not have happened. This year there was a plan to have the same volunteers come for all the events, and the charity managed to get four volunteers (in addition to Talan and Dan) attend every instructional event, with a further four getting to at least five of the seven events. This meant the level of attention to detail and competence of volunteers remained extremely high. Most are already saying they will commit to next years events as well.

TBE was present at two events where we were able to engage with a larger audience.  There was a riding demonstration at the Prescott Bike Festival (25th June) then a static display at Parallel Windsor (2nd July). The Prescott Bike Festival allowed Talan the opportunity to run the famous Prescott Hill Climb, which is the home of the Bugatti Club. Although just put on for one day, there was a large crowd and many cheered on as the charity founder launched from the start line to climb the hill. As well as demonstrating, there was a lunchtime interview with Steve Parrish, which allowed Talan to explain the adaptions to the bike and how the charity operates. Parallel Windsor was a static display and the team (led by Dan) was able to explain the charity and hand out information leaflets. Within days a number of people had already called to book onto the instructional events.

Riders - 32 places taken up (Impairments - Paraplegia, Tetraplegia, Leg Amputee, Arm Amputee, Brachial Plexus, Stroke, MS, CP, Spina Bifida, PTSD, Nerve Damage)
Instructor and Volunteer - 60 places filled in support of riders (Fully diverse group)
Family and Friends - 80 attended with the riders

TBE Event


On the 25 and 26 July TBE was at The Old Copse Runway (Silverstone) and hosted eight riders. There were a variety of impairments from Leg Amputee and Brachial Plexus to MS and Paraplegia. Each rider enjoyed success and was riding around the designated area without the need to be led or followed by the end of the day.

We were also visited by representatives of the Mark Master Masons who had so generously donated the funds to allow the charity to purchase the Land Rover.

New TBE vehicle


We would like to extend our thanks to the Mark Benevolent Fund who supplied the charity with a grant to purchase a vehicle to tow the large TBE trailer. We chose a Land Rover Discovery 4 from Unit One Auto, which has the power to pull 3500kg, meeting the requirements needed.

Due to its storage location we were unable to completely wrap the vehicle, so opted for the magnetic signs which can be removed and stored inside the boot space.

Survival of The Bike Experience


The past two years have been extremely difficult for many charities. We have struggled to find any sources of funding in order to continue. Fortunately the charity has been able to link with a company called Complete Fundraising, who are applying for grants and developing a strategy to allow the charity to continue in 2023 and beyond.  

The good news is that a few days ago the charity received news of a successful Awards For All grant that will pay for the unit rent (where kit is stored), Public Liability Insurance, bike maintenance and a small number of instructional events in 2023.


We have weathered the main storm, now we can begin to look forwards.

Isle Of Man TT Parade Lap


This August, Talan will be taking on the historic IOM TT course. He is participating in the ClassicTT Parade Lap on his Yamaha YZF-R6 race bike to raise awareness of disabled motorcycling and to raise money for the charity. 

There is a Just Giving page for the lap and you can either donate through the site or send  a cheque (made payable to THE BIKE EXPERIENCE) to 48 Pauls Place, Ashtead, Surrey, KT211HN.

bottom of page