Last year we were contacted by Mike Stead about Project Pit Stop, a men's mental health initiative he is behind.
Mike explains, 'At the 2022 Bike Shed Show event, Sideburn helped launch a new men’s health initiative called ‘Not the only 1' with Project Pit Stop which is supported by Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride and Movember.
'The Sideburn team created new artwork based on the Sideburn race number plate design and this was used to make ‘helmet’ stickers which were handed out at the Sideburn and DTRA stand at the Bike Shed show. Following the Bike Shed launch, the stickers were also available at the Sideburn stand at Malle Mile and Bike Shed London shop.'
We caught up with Project Pit Stop to chat about this new initiative.
SB: What is Project Pit Stop
Project Pit Stop is part of the Distinguished Gentleman's Ride Social Connections Challenge which uses some funds raised by the Distinguished Gentleman's Ride (DGR) community to support ideas that will improve the social connectedness, life satisfaction and mental wellbeing of motorcycle riders. Our approach encourages motorcyclists to socialise with each other, strengthening existing relationships or developing new ones.
At a simple level Project Pit Stop host a monthly moto social gathering at a friendly biker venue where anyone can always come together for a brew and chat, about anything. We have mechanic to help riders and give tips because just tinkering with a bike can start a conversation. We also have a bike-riding doctor that attendees can chat to about anything - even a ‘trivial' physical concern could impact on their mental well being. Our doctor also gives more serious talks about important health topics such as prostate and testicular cancer. Our experienced mental health first aider is also always there to chat with and help in anyway he can.
We also have occasional guest speakers such as Titch Cormack from the BBC TV show ‘The Speedshop’ and we encourage them to also share their personal stories or learnings about mens health. We are very grateful for everyone's amazing support of this new initiative.
What is the idea behind ‘Not the only 1’?
Quite simply, remind men that they are not on their own! Whatever you are going through, be it mental or physical, there are others going through something similar - it might be someone at work or even a buddy. But we don't know because too often we keep it to ourselves and don't talk about it. So let's be open, share our experiences and support each other so no one feels like they are the only one.
To get this important message on bikes, helmets etc we thought the No. 1 Sideburn race plate design could be adapted to read ‘Not the only 1’ and make a cool sticker help raise awareness of mens health. We are very grateful for the Sideburn team for making this possible and creating the design.
Not the Only 1 sticker in the wild
What is next for Project Pit Stop?
DGR and Movember have asked us to continue this initiative for another 18 months which is amazing and our regular ‘moto socials’ are only near Bournemouth/ Poole at the moment, but we hope to go to some DTRA events this year and catch up with everyone. Find latest event details at @projectpitstop_UK on Instagram.
Sideburn ed, Gary with the number plate at the Bike Shed Show