From Baghdad to Biker Cove as former soldier sets up shop in Gloucester
‘LUCKY’ Julian King has come a long way since being blown up twice in Iraq, where he worked in security.
But he has put all that behind him now and has just opened his own biker shop, Biker Cove, in the city.
The 37-year-old from Tuffley suffered hearing problems and post-traumatic stress after he was involved in two explosions, the second of which happened in 2007.
At the time, he was working in security in the war-torn country, when the vehicle in which he was travelling was hit by a roadside bomb.
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“The chap who was sat behind me lost his legs in the blast, and the guy in front of me was injured too,” he said.
“The vehicle caught fire and we couldn’t get out.
“In the end we managed to force the door open and climb out to be faced with Iraqi soldiers coming down the road putting us under fire, they were looking to capture us.
“Our lads were just up the road behind us and they managed to keep them at bay. I feel very lucky to come out of that alive.”
The terrifying incident brought the curtain down on Mr King’s employment in security and now he is turning to his passion of motorbiking.
Along with wife Maria, he has opened shop Biker Cove, in Bristol Road.
“We have never done anything like this before,” he said. “Neither of us has retail experience but we are positive and excited about the road ahead.”
The shop sells a mix of new and secondhand motorcycling accessories.
Mr King, who has been a biker for more than 20 years, said: “We sell a lot of second hand stuff, not helmets obviously, but all the things that can be used again. That has proved really popular.
“We don’t sell bikes but we sell pretty much everything else, including airbag vests.
“The technology is only seven months old and it is designed to protect a biker’s spine and vital organs if they come off their bike, it’s really good.”
The shop will be holding its official opening party on Saturday, August 17 from 9am to 5pm when they will also be raising money for charity.
Maria King said: “We will be putting together goodie bags of biker stuff worth £30 and selling them for £3.
“All the money will go towards Blood Bikes and the Increase the Peace charity in Gloucester. People will also be entered into a raffle.”