Carl Fogarty and Richard Hammond lead ride out raising £45,000 for charity.
Bikers from across the country turned out in their thousands at the weekend, as they took part in one of the largest biking events in the country – the Bike4Life Ride Out and Festival, raising money for Midlands Air Ambulance Charity.
In excess of 5,000 motorcyclists participated in the 23 mile ride on Sunday, along the A5/M54 from Meole Brace, Shrewsbury to the RAF Museum Cosford, home of the Bike4Life Festival. They filled the motorway as far as the eye could see, travelling en masse by police escort to the Museum.
It took 40 minutes for participants in the Ride Out to filter out of Shrewsbury and before the last few bikers had departed, the front riders had arrived at the Festival, filling the 23 mile route from start to finish.
Leading the 5,000 strong Ride Out this year was seven times World Superbike Champion and current ‘King of the Jungle’ Carl Fogarty, joined by TV presenter Richard Hammond and Bike4Life competition winner Trev Tawn from Broseley, Shropshire. The lucky winner got to meet his idols and pose for photos before joining them at the front of Ride Out, along with TV’s Emergency Bikers Mark Hayes and Steve Forrest.
Support for the event has grown each year, not just with the biking community, but with families and local residents alike. Thousands of members of the public lined the roads and every bridge along the route, waving as the bikers passed.
The event raised in excess of £45,000 thanks to the phenomenal turnout and support shown by the biking community, smashing last year’s total by 50 per cent. The day was a huge success, with more bikers taking part in this year’s ride out than ever before, with many bikers travelling some distance to be part of the day. In addition to the 5,000 bikers on the Ride Out, over 4,000 bikers and families headed straight to the Festival, with over 9,000 visitors on site throughout the day.
Upon arrival at the Museum, bikers were treated to an afternoon packed with entertainment which included a spectacular flypast from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Spitfire and live music supplied by five rock bands on the Planet Rock stage.
Abi Betteridge, Museum Events Manager for the RAF Museum Cosford said: “We were staggered with the number of bikers wanting to take part in the Ride Out this year – I’ve never seen so many bikes in one place! Looking back at the photos and videos posted online of the Ride Out shows just how big the event has become. It was fantastic to welcome so many bikers and families alike to the Museum and to see them enjoying the Festival atmosphere and everything the day had to offer.
“This event has been months in the planning and the staff and volunteers organising the event have worked hard to make Bike4Life 2015 the best yet.”
Two Midlands Air Ambulance helicopters were situated at the event and visitors were able to view on board as well as meet the aircrew. Fogarty took some time during his day to tour the helicopter and speak with the aircrew about their roles. Both helicopters were called out during the day, demonstrating the great need to continue to raise funds for the lifesaving service.
Jason Levy, Fundraising and Marketing Director for Midlands Air Ambulance Charity said: “What an incredible day! We are blessed with immense support from the biking community and the number of motorcyclists and local people who joined us on the day was terrific. Each Midlands Air Ambulance mission costs £2,500, so the £45,000 raised will go towards 18 further life saving missions. Everyone who attended the Ride Out and Festival should be extremely proud of what they’ve helped us achieve, and we couldn’t be more grateful for their commitment to the charity.”
Bike4Life is also in collaboration with Safer Roads Partnership and West Mercia Police who work tirelessly to promote road safety and to help reduce the number of road traffic collisions across West Mercia. The event took months of planning and wouldn’t have been possible without the support of the Central Motorway Police Group, the Highways Agency, West Mercia Police and Shropshire County Council, who ensured the safety of all of the bikers on the Ride Out. Organisers also thanked other road users for their patience and understanding during the Ride Out procession.
Vicki Bristow, Communications Manager, Safer Roads Partnership added: “It’s been great to be involved in such a worthwhile event and being able to engage with so many bikers not just across our region but from elsewhere. Helping to keep bikers as safe as possible whilst on the roads is one area we work really hard on and it was great to talk to so many bikers about the training opportunities that are available to them as well as talking about work we are doing on educating other road users about the importance of sharing our roads with bikers.
“The feedback we’ve had from the event has been fantastic and we can’t wait to get involved again in 2016.”