Well, apart from the hangovers and Turkey sandwiches, the dodgy jumpers to hide in the wardrobe and the explanations to think up about what you were doing to Aunty Maria at the bottom of the garden that is Christmas over and done with for another year. Personally mine was great, I enjoyed every minute of it and got everything I deserved! Now I am on the road to recovery getting ready for the next big party, New Year.
Some of us in the world however are not as lucky as I am, or hopefully, you are. We ride through life, content and carefree, but for some life is a real struggle. Christmas is a time for presents and excess, but it is also a time to think of others less fortunate than ourselves. In fact it is always a time to do that but Christmas is a time that highlights that need. Luckily being bikers we have never been ones to shy away from doing something we believe in and helping out those in need is definitely there in the list of things bikers should be, and are, known for.
Toy Runs have to be one of the most popular ways of showing our support for those who really need it. I know all about this from both sides of the road, my son was in hospital when he was young and benefitted from a bike club coming in and giving out toys, it is something that has stayed with him and now he goes on a Toy Run with me to our local hospital every year.
Some people though go that little bit further, go beyond the wonderful normal charity work and become legends that inspire generations. One such man was Michel Gérard Joseph Colucci otherwise known as Coluche. He was a French comedian, irreverent, scared of nothing and no one and willing to push things that little bit further. In 1981 he stood for election as president of France and when his share of the vote reached 16% it is alleged that French politicians put “pressure” on him to drop his campaign. In all probability he was doing it for a laugh and a way to highlight the stupidity of politicians…but he got them worried.
However he is best known and loved in France for the charity he started, Les Resto’s du Coeur, his “little idea”. This is a charity that collects food, money and clothes for the needy and the homeless and every year there is tour, by celebrities who become known as Les Enfoirés "the bastards", to raise money for the charity. It now has some 40,000 volunteers in almost 2,500 eating establishments, which serve some 600,000 people daily.
“God shared out; he gave food to rich ones and appetite to poor ones”
So why am I talking about this Coluche guy? Well he was a biker, a real biker, not some pseudo celebrity, look at me I am cool on my bike type of biker. He lived for his bikes, and even set a land speed record on September 29th, 1985, on the circuit of Nardo (Italy), when he reached the speed of 252.087 kilometers per hour (156.546 mph) on a Yamaha 750cc. He lived for his bikes and he died on his bike, at 16:35 on 19 June 1986, Coluche died when his motorcycle crashed into a truck, he was 41 years old. He was and is a much loved man in France, especially with the bikers who have taken his charity to their hearts. Most bike events in France raise money for the Resto’s de Coeur and his face is as famous now as it ever was. As one of his great friends said in the title of his album “Fucking Truck”
So look out for yourselves, and maybe think about looking out for a few others out there who need your help, it doesn’t take a lot and you will be following in some great footsteps.