One of the lesser known facts about the motorbike riding community is the phenomenal number of charity rides it organises. Practically every weekend there’s charity rides somewhere in Australia. Riders get together and raise funds for good causes. From cancer research to mental health support, supporting bushfires victims and firefighters, assisting the homeless, supporting families of fallen riders, memorial rides, and more. An endless number of good causes, in which thousands of motorbike riders proudly take part.
Fire Aid Ride
A different type of charity ride took place on Sunday 23rd-Feb: the first Fire Aid Ride. The aim of the event was to raise awareness and bring support to local areas of outer Sydney impacted by the recent bushfire crisis.
The catastrophic bushfires resulted in severe financial impact to local communities, with homes destroyed, businesses closed and tourists avoiding these areas.
The event was more than just a fundraising event. The organisers wanted riders to support local businesses and communities by visiting, spending locally and showing support. The locals desperately need to draw tourism back to the area.
The Fire Aid Ride was organised by Sydney rider Jimmy Woodriff with the help of Mark Hawwa (the founder of the world-famous Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride). This was the first of a series of riding events, with more to take place later this year.
From Windsor to Grey Gum Cafe
The ride kicked off at Macquarie Park Windsor and ended at the Grey Gum International Cafe in Putty. Over 600 people on more than 500 bikes took part in this spectacular ride on the fabulous Putty Rd.
Although the devastation all around was overwhelming, it was encouraging to see the regrowth and regeneration of trees and vegetation along the route.
The ride itself was orderly and smooth. This inclusive event encouraged all riders to take part but despite the large number of riders I personally did not see any dangerous riding or silly behaviour.
The atmosphere at the Grey Gum Cafe was fantastic. There was live music, food, and a great vibe. The (very) long queues for coffee and food did not deter anyone…
There were familiar faces amongst the riders: TV presenter Osher Gunsberg, radio presenter Brendan ‘Jonesy’ Jones, designer Barry Du Bois and founder of DGR Mark Hawwa.
Cash donations and money collected through sale of patches, stickers and beer will go to Putty RFS, who worked tirelessly throughout the bushfire crisis.
The owners of the Grey Gum Cafe, Kim and Will, who are great friends of the motorbike riders community, certainly deserve our support. They did an amazing job during the bushfire crisis, feeding tens of firefighters out of their own pocket, while also protecting their own property.
Next Fire Aid Ride Event
The next Fire Aid Ride event is already being planned. The details are still being worked out, however, the organisers have advised me that it will be a ride to the South Coast. The aim is similar: to provide support to communities affected by the bushfires. More details will be published soon.
So if you joined the first Fire Aid Ride on Sunday you know you cannot possibly miss the next. And if you missed out on the first ride you know you cannot possibly miss the next. Come and show your support to an incredible cause.
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