This Saturday (10 October) is World Mental Health Day, though I don’t think that’s necessarily the reason Harley-Davidson released a series of videos last week promoting the value of mental health. Although I’m normally inclined to be cynical about this sort of stuff, based on the timing of their release it seems Harley put the videos out simply because it was a good thing to do.
In particular, it was a good thing done by Harley-Davidson’s UK and Ireland team. This doesn’t appear to be an initiative that’s been passed down from H-D HQ; the series focuses on UK personalities and I haven’t seen anything similar from other countries’ Harley teams. The series focuses on personalities who ride motorcycles and find them therapeutic, obviously. And certainly that’s a connection I can understand.
12 Reasons to Ride a Motorcycle
I have written a lot about the spiritual/emotional benefits of riding – hell, that’s primarily what The Motorcycle Obsession is about. And although it’s not something I’d necessarily want to be known for, I’ve been pretty open about my own mental health struggles – in particular in the article “The Last Good Thing,” from December 2019, and its follow up earlier this year: “Of Gift Horses and Good Things.”
You’ll note that both those articles are about riding Harley-Davidson motorcycles and how much they mean to me. Though, of course, you can have incredible adventures on a BMW or Honda or Suzuki or Triumph or whatever else happens to be in your garage. For me, bikes offer a sense of mindfulness and connection to the actual world.
Anyway, kudos to Harley-Davidson UK & Ireland for making this series of videos that speaks to that fact and how important mental health is to our overall wellbeing. Admittedly, all the individuals featured here could be described as influencers, with most enjoying significant Instagram followings. But I still give Harley credit for having released this series with no obvious commercial purpose. This is not sexy/cool people selling parts and accessories under the auspices of something more consequential. Harley-Davidson UK didn’t even issue a press release; I just saw these videos because I follow the UK team’s social media.
Anyway here they are: six in total, each just a minute long.