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Cartagena track day goes wrong for Fergus Dalgarno

 

Their best thing about SorryMate is that every employee is a biker.

Well, there is, of course, one exception. Fergus Dalgarno will temporarily be taking a break from his motorcycle. This follows a disagreement with his bike on track at Cartagena.

Fergus’s managed to lock the car keys inside the hire car

The tale begins on Wednesday evening at 4.30 pm. Fergus arrived in Spain at Alicante. Arriving at the airport, Fergus picked up his bags and headed towards his hire car.

Fergus carefully placed his bags in the boot. Only after closing the boot did he realise that he had locked the keys inside. After returning to the hire company, who probably had a great laugh, he discovered that the spare keys are kept in Valencia. Fortunately, the hire company has ‘assistance’ available to come and help. The so-called assistance took over three hours later. When it did eventually arrive, after looking at the car and checking the door handles, they decided that there was nothing else which could be done. Fergus was still unable to get his belongings from the boot of the car and decided to head over to the hotel.

After hitting another vehicle, they headed to the hospital

Fergus was defeated, temporarily. However, that wasn’t going to stop him from getting on the track. So he devised a cunning plan. He decided to hire a second car out to make it to the track. After which he would drive up to Valencia to collect the keys for the first hire car.

He arrived at the hotel at 1 pm. After grabbing a good night’s sleep, he was up and ready at 6 am to hit the circuit. All fueled up with food, they jumped in the car and headed towards the track.

Just as they were heading around the corner, they hit a local driver. Long story short, two smashed up cars later, Fergus was on his way to the hospital.

After leaving the hospital, they drove around trying to find a new vehicle

Fergus left the hospital at 11 am. Luckily the hire company sent a taxi over to bring them back into Cartagena. The idea was that they would collect another new hire vehicle. However, after arriving, the company then decided it was best to obtain a different car in Murcia.

So the pair headed off down to Murcia. Fergus ended up making the 7-hour drive from Cartagena to Valencia, then to Alicante and back to Cartagena. He didn’t make it back to the hotel until 7 pm that evening.

He may have been down, but he wasn’t defeated

Finally, after a whirlwind of stress, Fergus managed to get himself booked in for the track day in the morning. The sun was shining, he was excited, and his bike was ready to go. Hitting the track with his instructor, he first did his sighting laps.

One lap down, Fergus was feeling great. That was of course until he dropped a gear too many. This caused the bike to lock up and throw Fergus off.

Fergus was recovered by ambulance

Fergus was recovered off the circuit by ambulance. He was taken straight to the medical centre. After demanding his leathers come off in one piece (ouch!), his ankle was put into a support wrapping. He was then promptly shipped off to the local hospital. After arriving at the hospital, the orthopaedic doctor grabbed his leg, crunching it back into place by leaning his body-weight against it.

Fergus took an early flight home. However, this was not before requiring blood thinners so that he could fly. He is now finally home and will be resting for the next six weeks. As a result, he will now be working from home in the meantime.

Here at SorryMate, we know more than any other solicitors that motorbike Crashes and accidents can happen. It’s even happened to our Fergus. If you’re involved in a crash on the road, don’t hesitate to contact us today.

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SorryMate employee supports Bike Tours for the Wounded

 

SorryMate’s Liz has always dreamt of taking a Harley Davidson down route-66.

As far as ‘bucket-list’ activities go, riding a Harley-Davidson along Route 66 is every biker’s dream. For one SorryMate employee, this route was no exception. Liz, one of SorryMate’s best solicitors, fortunately, had the opportunity to visit the famous route. The trip was done through an organisation called Bike Tours for the Wounded, which SorryMate supports.

What is Bike Tours for the Wounded?

Bikes Tours are a not-for-profit community company which provides unique opportunities for wounded, injured and sick service personnel and veterans to ride pillion on motorcycle tours. Each pillion is offered a funded place, the money donated by the general public, supporters, and fundraising activities throughout the year.

Who went on the tour?

A total of nine beneficiaries flew out with us to Las Vegas on 17 August, together with the riders. At the time of the flight, only two of whom Liz already knew. It was fairly frantic for Liz getting to know them all at Gatwick Airport!

What motorcycle did Liz ride?

After a long flight from Gatwick to America, it was straight onto the motorcycles. Liz successfully managed to complete a few things off her bucket list. Including,

  • Ridding a Harley Davidson for the first time
  • Ridding a bike in a feet-forward position
  • and using an open face helmet for riding

The motorcycle itself was a massive clunky 1600cc machine. It was quite a bit of a shock to the system for Liz to try something so different, especially after a long haul flight.

How long was Liz riding for each day?

Liz was riding for a total of ten days through a small part of the United States.  During these ten days, she was riding an average of 200 miles per day. If that doesn’t sound gruelling enough, some of those days were spent travelling through the desert. Temperatures could reach up to 45 degrees. In addition to this, Liz also met America’s famous busy interstate roads, forests and violent thunderstorms.

However, there were, of course, some very beautiful spots. There were the iconic long straight seemingly never-ending roads, lovely long sweeping bends (particularly in the Angeles mountains, perhaps the best riding road ever) and some sharp twisties too.

What was Liz’s most memorial part of the trip?

Liz was riding between the two towns of Alpine and Blythe in California. The group decided to stop for lunch at a small place called Julian. The town had a population of about 1500, so it’s very small by American standards. During lunch, the group had been told the story of John Baca.

Who is John Baca?

As a young man, John Baca was in and out of trouble. Like so many others, he joined the US Army. John was in the Cavalry out in Vietnam in February 1970. Whilst leading his team through enemy territory, a grenade was thrown into the middle of the patrol.

Fully aware of the danger to his comrades, Baca covered the grenade with his steel helmet and then threw himself onto it. As the grenade exploded, the lethal fragments were absorbed by his body. Despite being able to see his own intestines through the wound, his first thought was that his mother would be cross with him. He had just spoken to her earlier that day called to tell her that he was fine and well.

John made a long and painful recovery and continues to give his time and energy to work with veterans and the homeless in the US and in Vietnam. He was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. The whole group were given memorial coins to remember this story of bravery.

This wasn’t the only story which stuck with Liz

Whilst travelling along Route-66, Liz noted that a lot of sections of the interstates between Las Vegas and Victorville were donated to those who have served. The first interstate was“Dedicated to the veterans of World War I”. This went on right through to the final sign which relates to “the global war on terror”.

Bike Tours for the Wounded visited two different legions

Bike Tours were the guests of two different legion posts. The first, at Heber-Overgaard, was a large ramshackle building. It was very lively with music and dancing. Regular visitors include a WWII veteran in his mid-90’s, who has only very recently swapped his motorcycle for a trike. He did this because it is easier to carry his wife’s oxygen tanks that way….

The second legion post the group went to was at Holbrook. It is very different as it was dark with a cramped basement room. However, it was also lively and the group were treated with such respect and hospitality throughout our journey.

Bike Tours for the Wounded aims to kick-start recovery for ex-service veterans

After the tour, Liz asked one of the pillion passengers, for his summary of the event and its benefits. The veteran she spoke to is currently attending the Naval Service Recovery Centre due to hip and lower back injuries sustained in 2015. He is an artilleryman in 29 Commando Regiment.

He described the tour as a much-needed chance to take his mind off the daunting prospect of medical discharge from the Army. It was also a chance to challenge himself mentally. The trip is a high-adrenaline setting, but also within breathtaking scenery. and with great camaraderie with the whole group.

A much-needed break

Bike Tours for the wounded aims to help veterans and servicemen/women. The tour is intended to ease the veterans’ problems for at least a short while. The long term aim is that it will kick start their recovery. For many, it’s a much needed mental and physical break. Serving isn’t an easy task, nor is the transition back to being a civilian. Many veterans often feel isolated after serving. However, Bike Tours for the wounded gives veterans a chance to get out, make friends and enjoy life.

SorryMate is constantly supporting Biker charities. To read more about our charity work, click here.

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Bike Tours for The Wounded

 

SorryMate‘s Liz and husband, Mik set off on a motorbike challenge to do America’s world-famous route 66 in order to help wounded service personnel.

What is Bike Tours for the Wounded?

Bike Tours for The Wounded, also known as BT4TW, is an organisation which provides the opportunity for the wounded, sick or injured a chance to experience the famous route 66 as a pillion. The amazing tour makes several stops at some of the most iconic attractions in America’s ‘Mother Road’.

Liz and Mik will first make a small detour

Liz and Mik will first be heading to Normandy next month for their first challenge. Following this will be their challenge in America in August. The couple will be doing it to support Bike Tours for the Wounded. Liz is looking forward to help in their own way.

Liz stated that: “The aim is to support individuals with their rehabilitation, through a unique programme, enabling them to ride pillion on motorcycle tours in the UK, Europe and the USA

The not-for-profit organisation aims to provide the opportunity for 52 servicemen

Bike Tours for The Wounded is an organisation which aims to offer funded places are offered to individuals from all ranks Each year. The organisation strive to provide the opportunity for 52 servicemen, servicewomen and veterans. They offer three different trips: D-Day sites at Normandy, Route 66 or an amazing tour of the Wild West.

Bike Tours for The Wounded relies heavily upon the numerous fundraising activities, and generous donations from the general public. The motorcycle trip has been proven to be extremely beneficial to those who have taken part in varying stages of their rehabilitation process.

Liz stated that “This is only possible because of supporters and volunteer riders. We’ll ride to Normandy on our own motorcycles, and then ride Route 66 with hired Harley Davidsons.”

SorryMate love to support multiple Bike charities

We absolutely love to support many different motorcycle charities and events. If you would like to read more about what we do, click here, to find our charitable updates.