Monday, 4 April 2011
The Beneficent Bikers
My only experience of motorcycles goes way back to the 60s when, because an evening class exam ran over time, I missed the last bus from Edinburgh to Peebles. A pal suggested her boyfriend would be happy to give me a lift on his bike and, because I had no alternative, I donned the helmet and tentatively heaved myself upon the pillion seat. No real padding on those days - even less than my bicycle perhaps - but needs must. We arrived at my home some 23 miles later and once I was prized from the back of my friend's boyfriend and had a long soak in a hot bath, I felt nearly human. Alan deserved my eternal respect because he had to return the 23 miles in needle-sharp sleet and facing the biting wind.
Yesterday saw thousands of bikers, from all over the UK, take part in an event for a little known but very worthy charity. This year's Ride of Respect saw 10,000 bikers attending the thank you to Wootton Bassett and those who lived too distant organised their own events; resulting in bikers riding in honour of soldiers serving in Afghanistan on the roads of Tyneside and Northumberland, Scotland, Leicestershire, Kent, Shropshire and Essex.
One of my loyal readers took part in the Wootton Bassett ride (having travelled from Pembrokeshire) and has written a diary post of his experience complete with some super photographs.
Of all the wheeled transport we have in Britain, motorcyclists appear to be the most generous to our less fortunate and I feel rather embarrassed that motorists don't make much, if any, effort. We'll never usurp the bikers of course but could be their 4-wheeled support act.
The bikers raised a minimum of £100,000 yesterday. They deserve our sincere thanks.