Born To Be Wild

Hamish sitting on a large motorbike, trying it out for size
Hamish trying out a similar bike for size

An inspirational story showing that it's never too late to do what you've always wanted!

Hamish Blackwood turns 63 in May.

It’s an interesting time of life; you’re almost drawing your pension but you still feel 28, and you can’t help wishing you hadn’t held back from enjoying a few more adventures while you had the chance.

Hamish hasn’t exactly held back when it comes to hitting the road. From the age of 17, until he sold his bike, aged 20, he rode motor bikes, always getting a 250cc so he could drive with a provisional license.

There was no need to take his test and he zipped around on off-road bikes. His wife had bikes from the age of 18, too.

At the age of 33 Hamish began riding bikes again, but they were more a means of getting from A to B. Cars became his passion and he currently owns an impressive collection – ranging from a 1936 Austin 7 to a camper van he escapes in, with his wife for a week every month. That’s not to mention his 1980s Porsche (his third), 1985 Volvo Estate and the Land Rover he uses for taking his dogs out, and other country pursuits.

In January 2024, Hamish took a momentous decision

“We were staying in a country cottage,” he explains “and I was flicking around the internet while my wife watched TV.

I started looking at motorbikes, but not little ones this time. Next thing I knew I had ordered a 650 Adventure bike.”

He didn’t stop there – and went on to get the training he needed to drive his dream bike.

“I’ve just completed my CBT (Compulsory Basic Training) through a Direct Access course. I’ve passed the driving theory test, and now I just have the last bit to do – riding on the road with the instructor assessing me while I do my test.”

After bringing up his sons, 20 years running a White Goods repair business, leading to shoulder replacement surgery, and enjoying 39 years as a resident of the Isle of Wight, Hamish is all set to become the Easy Rider of the Island.

“My wife wasn’t overly comfortable with the idea” he admits, “but we’ve reached an understanding.  She’s gone from saying ‘You’re NOT doing it’ to ‘I don’t want you having a bike’ – and gradually ‘You WILL be careful, won’t you?’ to ‘I’ll worry about you but it’s your choice’.”

For Hamish, the rationale for his new biking adventures was a simple one: -

“I wanted to do it while I could still get my leg over a motor bike” he laughs, “And if you’ve got something you’ve wanted to do all your life, do it now while you’ve got the time and inclination!”

Since this piece was written, Hamish has passed his test and is ready to hit the road; proving that it's never too late to achieve your dreams.