An army of Lewis and Harris bikers are revving up to lend a hand as the potential grows for an island-wide lockdown on vulnerable individuals.
Over 100 bikers have responded to a call from motorcycle instructor Calum Maclean, who proposed the idea of a two-wheeled courier service to bring shopping and essentials to people self-isolating in remote areas.
Calum said today (Friday 20 March): “It came to me at 4am that we could end up with a lot of people in self-isolation, in remote areas, unable to get what they need from the shops and that that would impact not just them but the local shops themselves.
“I know a lot of bikers, so I put a call out yesterday to see if they would be willing to help and I’ve had over 140 respond to say yes, they’re ready. Even assuming there’s some fall-out in availability I think we can safely say we’ve got a small army of bikers ready to help.”
Calum’s post also attracted some interest from businesses, including Engebretsen’s, Harris and Lewis Smokehouse and some local fishermen who are prepared to offer fresh catch to those who are isolated.
What’s now needed, according to Calum, is a way to co-ordinate deliveries and those who need help.
“All we need is for a shopkeeper to put an order in a sealed bag and address it, but we do also need a way to cover our fuel costs and to make sure that the authorities are on board with what we are doing.
“The biker fraternity is willing to help but we need to get the mechanics in place to make it work. We want to limit the amount of to-ing and fro-ing and make sure fuel is covered if individuals have to go long distances to make deliveries.”
The insurance would be covered, as Calum said: “It’s social, domestic and would be a real pleasure. This is not work but is simply a choice of what you wish to do in your spare time.”
Businesses or authorities who want to take Calum up on his idea can make contact via the motorcyles of Lewis & Harris (ride-outs and chat) Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/groups/1012665215450592/
The picture shows some of the Lewis and Harris biker superheroes in last year’s Carnival parade.