Impressive turnout for charity ride.
Bikers from across the country turned out in their thousands at the weekend to show their incredible support for two Midlands charities, as they took part in one of the largest biking events in the country – the Bike4Life Ride Out and Festival.
Helping to raise money for the Midlands Air Ambulance Charity and Royal Air Force Museum, in excess of 3,000 motorcyclists participated in the 23 mile ride along the M54 from Meole Brace, Shrewsbury to the RAF Museum Cosford, double the number of bikers who took part in the 2013 Ride Out. They filled the motorway as far as the eye could see, as they travelled en masse by police escort to the museum with hundreds of members of the public lining every bridge along the route, waving as they passed. TV’s Emergency Bikers Mark Hayes and Steve Forrest were two of the bikers leading the Ride Out before spending the day at the Festival meeting and greeting.
The event raised in excess of £30,000 thanks to the impressive turnout and support shown by the biking community, smashing last year’s total. 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 3,000 bikers on the Ride Out, over 2,000 additional bikers headed straight to the festival along with thousands of interested members of the public with almost 8,000 visitors on site throughout the day.
Nina Mitchell, Events Executive for the RAF Museum Cosford said:“We knew the event this year was going to be big, judging by the level of interest we received in the build-up, but nothing could prepare us for the overwhelming support from the bikers who turned out on the day. We would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who attended and donated to the two event charities, we hope everyone enjoyed the day as much as we did. We have received some fantastic feedback on our Facebook and Twitter pages and we hope to see everyone again next year.”
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 bands on the Planet Rock stage. Arena displays entertained the crowds throughout the day and even encouraged participation from some members of the public, with some fantastic biker related prizes up for grabs. Plus, some of the biggest names in the biking world were exhibiting with road safety and advance riding organisations on hand to talk biker safety.
The Cosford-based Midlands Air Ambulance helicopter was situated at the event and was called out several times 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 added:“We were overwhelmed by the level of people who attended both the Ride Out and the festival.Bikers make up about a fifth of the air ambulance missions we attend, so their support is hugely appreciated by everyone at the charity. We trebled our fundraising total from last year and we’re already planning next year’s event, so watch this space.”
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 and West Mercia Police who ensured the safety of all of the bikers on the Ride Out.
Vicki Bristow from the Safer Roads Partnership, Road Safety unit for Warwickshire Police and West Mercia Police commented: “Improving safety for motorbike riders is a big part of what we work on throughout the year so to be part of this event and to talk to bikers, not just in our region but from neighbouring counties was great. We are really pleased that we were able to support the event and two wonderful local charities and we’d like to thank everyone who turned up to the event, without the support it wouldn’t have been possible. We hope to see everyone again next year!”
Photos from the event will be posted on the Bike4Life website www.bike4lifefest.co.uk and on the official Facebook and Twitter pages over the coming days. Find out more information about the Midlands Air Ambulance Charity by visiting www.midlandsairambulance.com or for more information on the RAF Museum Cosford visit www.rafmuseum.org. Further details about the Safer Roads Partnership can be found at www.srpwestmercia.org.uk