Hi. I’m Jack Gray, founder of MotoMeet.
My story begins in the Royal Oldham hospital during an intense World Cup match between South Korea and Spain on June 17th 1990.
A lot has happened since then, most of which you don’t need to know, so with that in mind I’ll skip to the part I hope will interest you.
I guess like most riders, I was captivated by bikes from an early age. The way they look, the way they sound, and especially the way they move. Every fibre of their being is the unadulterated raw essence of what is truly cool. How could I ever keep away?
When I was in my early teens some of my fondest memories were of riding pillion on my Dad’s 1996 Triumph Trophy. With him living in the North of Cumbria at the time, the scenic Scottish landscape was but a stone’s throw away. Being aboard that trusty old steed I felt special. Maybe it was the fact that we skipped to the front of the queue in heavy traffic, maybe it was because every other biker nodded at my Dad and me, maybe it was just that we were faster and moved better than everybody else around us.
Whatever it was it had my undivided attention!
Skip to my 18th birthday. I finally saved enough money to pay for my CBT (compulsory bike test) and to buy my first ever bike. Please bear in mind that minimum wage factory work for a 17 year old lad doesn’t leave much change after the rent’s gone out. Regardless! There she was, a 1985 MZ ETZ125. She might not have been much, but to me she was my world. I will never forget the first time riding that little MZ, when my inexperienced self got too comfortable too quick. Thanks to my complacency peppered with a healthy dose of target fixation I ended up head over heels in a bush. Not fun!
I want to tell you that I got back up, brushed myself off and carried on riding up until this day. I want to, but that would be a lie. After getting the MZ home I didn’t ride for a long time, it wasn’t worth it. Biking wasn’t for me! For the next few years I occupied my time with other lesser hobbies. I tried my best to detract riding from my mind, to tell myself it was overrated, dangerous and pointless. Lies!
I believe it was 2016 in which I had my moment of clarity.
I had unfinished business and I wasn’t going to put it off anymore. I had to get my full license (including re-taking my CBT), get another bike and catch up for the years I had missed out. Of course, I would not be sitting here typing this right now if I had not successfully achieved all of these goals. With my fresh new license, I marched, proud as punch, down to a local dealer and bought a completely inappropriate 2003 Kawasaki ZX6R in that gorgeous Kawi Green, for my first big bike. Safe to say, I wasn’t going to fall fool to target fixation this time.
If you the reader have ever been on a bike far beyond your capability, then I trust you can relate to the level of concentration and adrenaline the human body emits when put in the firing line of potential danger in its purest form. For the next 6 months I didn’t ride that Kawasaki, it rode me. Many will think it was a pointless buy and I had no business with that bike at such an early stage, and to a degree they would be correct. But! I believe that Kawasaki not only taught me patience but gave me an appreciation of what truly skilful riding is and a respect of what motorcycles are ultimately capable of, for better and for worse.
Since that time, I have continued working at what I set out to achieve and improved my skills tenfold. I have covered many miles, taken courses, had a couple of offs, learned from my mistakes and drilled preventative measures. I continue to grow as a rider every time I put my helmet on. The only thing I really struggled with now was: “How can I give back to the motorcycling community, and leave my mark on the world of bikes at the same time?”
I ride around and I see so many fellow riders going at it alone. I completely understand, sometimes it is nice to head out by yourself, clear your head and get after it, just you and the road. But! It’s pretty nice to have the option of riding in group. Right?
So, from here on out, with the might of the Prince’s Trust behind me, I am going to continue working tirelessly until my vision for MotoMeet is set in stone. I envision motorcyclists all over the world being able to log in to the app at a touch of a button and having a selection of tailor-made rides and possible friends for life, available at their fingertips.
If you have managed to make it this far then I thank and commemorate you. I truly hope this app enriches your motorcycling experiences from here on out. I hope it serves as a viable platform to build friendships on around a passion we all hold so dear.
Let’s get riding!
Founder of MotoMeet