Shared passion for motorbikes can save lives

A MOTORCYCLE community venue in Keynsham that aims to improve wellbeing and prevent suicide has celebrated its revival after being devastated by flooding.

Bolts N Brews was started by Sean Good (pictured), a 16-year Army veteran who is now a qualified trauma risk management leader and a mental health first aider.

Sean served in combat zones such as Afghanistan and Iraq and lost a number of friends in battle. He still suffers night terrors but he is able to share his feelings with family and friends. Many are not so fortunate and some end up taking their own lives.

Sean believes that riding motorcycles is a great antidote to depression. For the past 10 years, he has organised the Bristol Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride, during which time it has raised £131,000 for mental health support and research into prostate cancer.

But as the ride happens just once a year, Sean felt more regular social events were needed to create a better sense of community among the Bristol area’s many riders.

That’s how Bolts N Brews was born, offering monthly social events where people can share their love of motorcycles and find a safe space in which open up about their feelings.

A launch event was held at its base on the Broadmead Industrial Estate in Keynsham just before Christmas. It included a display of show bikes and attracted about 200 people.

But just after New Year, disaster struck when storms flooded the Bolts N Brews unit. Bikes were damaged, with even headlights being filled with water. Café machines and supplies were ruined, workshop tools destroyed, and walls and furniture saturated.

A Crowdfunder campaign was launched with the aim of raising £2,500 to help towards the cost of draining, cleaning and restoring the venue.

And its success has helped Bolts N Brews to reopen, with a celebration event on April 20.

Sean said: “It was some of the best weather we have had since last summer. We cannot thank the local biker community more.”

First of all, 10 riders met up at the Bolts N Brews base in Keynsham before travelling into Bristol, where they joined 35 other enthusiasts for a ride-out.

“The day could not have gone any better. We arrived back at Bolts N Brews around 12.45 to find the car park full of choppers, scooters, sports bikes, cafe racers and some great American muscle.

“We had guest speakers from Movember, Talk Club, and Mental Health Motorbike – discussing their great strategies and programmes for mental health and suicide prevention.”

Now Sean and his supporters aim to use the venue to create a great social calendar, with a gallery, museum, garage, workshop, showroom, store, and, most importantly, a sociable cafe/bar.

“What Bolts N Brews looks to do is become that local social common place – where people from all walks of life come together to share their passion for two-wheels, whether they ride a motorcycle of not.”