Motorcycle culture and the amazing community that it’s built on are synonymous with a positive impact on mental health, and we’re all about that. That’s why BMIC are proud sponsors of Season 2 of THE NOD with Charley Boorman, Ben Bowers and Ant Partridge. Below are a few words from Ben Bowers to give those of you that aren’t already in the know a ‘biker’s nod’ to what it’s all about.
“Really it’s just normalising this conversation of health and well-being on a day to day context, rather than having to go and make a conscious effort to talk about it. If we just talk about it alongside stuff we’re passionate about then it’s normalised, so that was where The Nod came from. It’s about two of my passions, mental health and motorcycles” Ben Bowers
The Nod Season 2 goes off the beaten track to explore tricky terrain
After a hugely successful first season, The Nod podcast with Ben Bowers, Charley Boorman and Anthony Partridge, supported by the British Motorcycle Insurance Community, is back for another series of rides and rambles that explores all that is best about motorcycles and the motorcycle community.
The whole point of riding a motorcycle is that it can take you anywhere, and with The Nod, Bowers, Boorman and Partridge choose to go off the beaten track and explore the subject of men’s health and mental health, with biking a vehicle for meaningful conversation.
“The idea was to bring together the two passions of motorcycles and mental health and male health broadly,” says Bowers. “We wanted to normalise conversations about these typically taboo subjects for men. In a way that was authentic, accessible and done in a way that wasn’t explicitly about mental health, so we didn’t scare people off, to draw them in through something they’re interested in by talking to interesting people. But within that context to able to talk about some of the tougher stuff that happens in life.”
“Just part of an overarching conversation that we can have in life, on any day with anyone. To lead by example. More importantly though, it’s about the motorcycle community, it’s not about motorbikes. The motorbikes are the gateway, into the conversation with people who have interesting stuff to talk about.”
Bowers has been an advocate for men’s health for many years, through his work with Movember. Both he and Boorman have had testicular cancer. The motorcycle community has been and still is for them, both a source of support, and a way to connect with other men to hopefully share what they have learned along the way.”
“I had testicular cancer twice, in my 20s, that’s how it happened. Way back in 2009 I was introduced to Charley Boorman through a mutual friend and he had just had testicular cancer, so he introduced me to Movember and the rest is history. Charley and I become great mates and have been ever since. Through our shared interests of losing bollocks and riding motorcycles, and just having a laugh.”
Featuring a broad range of guests, from seasoned bikers to two-wheeled novices, like James Phelps, of Harry Potter fame, to Hollywood-based actor Mark Sheppard, each episode charts a conversation that is natural, engaging and although some serious issues are covered, fun.
“The only criteria for guests is that you ride a motorbike, or have ridden a motorbike at some point, you can talk about that shared passion and that shared sense of community. Then we just talk about life and people’s experiences and wherever that conversation goes.”
“We want to get away from the interview format of questions and answers, face-to-face, because that doesn’t necessarily reflect the way that men communicate and talk. It’s shoulder to shoulder conversations, so we try to have a group of us talking, so as a collective we can share our experiences, which are many and varied. Not just from a riding point of view, but from a health point of view. We’ve all suffered, with our mental health and both Charley and I have both had cancer. Anthony and I have struggled with our mental health at times and we talk openly about that.”
“It’s about showing the motorcycle community in all its varied lights, the full spectrum but also while doing that, to give people some takeaways, little insights and hopefully someone hears that and it resonates with them.”
If you ride a motorcycle, the name of the podcast needs no explanation, the nod is something that bikers do and it’s the perfect moniker for a series that celebrates all that is best about the community of riders across the UK, and further afield.
“Everyone we interview, we talk about motorbikes and how they got into it and for the majority of people, it’s about freedom,” explains Bowers. “It’s not necessarily a desire to fit in or be cool, but it’s the fact that you can climb on a motorcycle and you can go anywhere. You can ride around the world, or you can go to the shops, that’s appealing. There’s the danger, it’s an inherently dangerous pastime, and the road is a dangerous place.”
“The podcast is called The Nod, it’s that idea that every time you go past a biker, you give them the nod. Why do we do that? It’s that acceptance, it’s the acknowledgment that you’re in on the secret.
They get it.”
“The juxtaposition about motorcycling is that, if you’re struggling, you put on a helmet, you head off, you’re anonymous, no one can talk to you, you can go anywhere and you can just be with yourself, with your mindfulness, just escape. But if you want to, you can pull up in any carpark, beside any bike, on the planet, and have a conversation with a complete stranger and they will engage with you, just because you’re on a bike. There is that amazing community of acceptance. But equally everyone accepts your space and if you want to just put your helmet on and head off, that’s fine too.”
The Nod, season 2, is proudly supported by the British Motorcycle Insurance Community (BMIC) a digital first insurance platform for riders and manufacturers that makes insurance work for the community. Visit www.thebmic.co.uk to learn how you and your community can benefit.
#jointheride #bmic #bikerscommunity