My name is Charlotte Murphy I’m 23 years old and I was born in Glasgow but have lived 15 miles from John O’Groats in Thurso for 14 years. I love where I live. It’s a hidden gem that isn’t so hidden anymore what with the growth of the North Coast 500, which has seen major growth in vehicle tourism for the first region.
I have Cerebral Palsy in my legs – for which I use a wheelchair – and suffer from a scoliosis of the spine as well as chronic long term nerve pain for which I am on a daily basis highly medicated for. The medication I take could be one of the major factors that would stop us travelling further abroad in the future. We’ll have to wait and see but keep in mind that I’m not going to get better anytime soon. It is not an exaggeration when I say that never ever in my wildest dreams did I think I would be into motorcycle travel. Myself and Mikey have been together for five years, meeting when I was 18. Mikey and his family truly have engine oil running through their veins – it is them and Mikey that introduced me to working on the bikes in the shed. I decided to get involved because I could see how much it meant to him and to them. I remember being strangely proud the first time I got oil on my jeans!
I first got on a bike together with him in the spring of 2014. Our first bike together was an ugly 1980’s Honda Spacy 250cc, a bike I only found pretty as it was technically my first bike. We started with a small bike that could only carry my crutches which I used like walking sticks which was not ideal because after a few times of walking in a day I would have extreme leg spasms and pain which would cause the shaking. For me I was never truly scared of getting on the bike. I think I am lucky to a certain extent because being a wheelchair user – you intrust where you are going and largely your safety to the hands of those you trust. In this regard I think this has helped me to not fear having someone control the bike with me on the back as the two situations are quite similar if I am honest.