#BloodBikeDay - Gary Annan | Blood Biker

My name is Gary, I am a 54-year-old, twice married, taxi driver with three grown up children and five grandchildren.

I’m self-employed, so volunteering does come at a cost.  Everyone has family, friends and hobbies that take time and effort to fit into daily life. Blood Bikes are another hobby that I fit in.

I first heard of blood bikes and the NABB through an advert for a well-known brand of motorcycle. I didn’t know at the time that Blood Bikes had been operating in the south since the 1960s.

I contacted the NABB to find out about our local group but was surprised to hear that no group existed in my area “yet”. I was informed that a presentation was to be given locally and the rest as they say is history.  In September 2012, Northumbria Blood Bikes was born.

The greatest thing about riding a blood bike is knowing that what you’re carrying will undoubtedly help someone and on occasions could even save someone’s life, the one thing that betters that knowledge is actually finding out that what you carried on a specific journey did save a life.

I’m fortunate enough through circumstance, to know that a small bag of blood that I carried on a very rainy day did help to save the life of a prematurely born baby. My part was small, but it still sends tingles down my spine when I tell the story (which I often do).

The worst part of being a blood Biker is bad weather, we can’t change it so we just grin and bear it.

To become a blood Biker you have to jump through a few hoops. Firstly and most importantly you will have to take an advanced test such as Rospa or IAM. When I trained for my test, I realised that I’d not looked at a Highway Code book since 1977. As a professional driver that is not something I’m proud of. Blood bikers also have to undergo MHRA blood handling training; classroom based blue light training and regular assessments.

My advice to any budding Blood Biker is not to expect the job to be exciting, glamorous or fun all the time, a lot of what we do is done during the night, often in bad weather and without knowing why.

The thing that makes it all worthwhile is the fantastic feeling you get on the odd occasion when you find out you have been part of saving someone’s life.

Could you be a volunteer Blood Biker? https://do-it.org/#/opportunities/b1bd072a-6876-4439-b4ac-69b498abe042

Me and bike