It’s difficult to know where to start when planning your riding trips for the year, especially when it comes to the array of charity rides which promise to be well attended and a good day out. Wherever you live, chances are that there will be a good local event somewhere near you this summer. But if you fancy going further afield, here are five top charity motorbike rides with a great track record.
Bike4Life Ride Out
For the 2017 Bike4Life ride out over 3,500 bikers rode the 23-mile route from Meole Brace in Shrewsbury to RAF Cosford in Shropshire, raising just shy of £78,000 for Midlands Air Ambulance service.
Organised annually by the Midlands Air Ambulance Charity, the event is using the same route this year and has confirmed that former four-time world superbike champion Carl Fogarty and Grand Prix racer turned TV commentator Steve Parrish will lead the ride. As the ride is limited to 3,500 bikes, people are being urged to pre-book their tickets online to avoid disappointment.
Charity: Midlands Air Ambulance
Date: Sunday 22nd April 2018
Location: Meole Brace, Shrewsbury to RAF Cosford, Shropshire
The Dambusters Charity Motorcycle Rides is a not-for-profit organisation set up in 2012, originally raising money for Help For Heroes, and then the RAF Benevolent Fund and Motorcycle Outreach in 2014. Since the organisation’s inception, over £28,000 has been raised through their charity rides.
This year, the organisation has partnered with the International Bomber Command Centre (IBCC) and Spire monument in Lincoln, and is hosting a ‘ride-in’ to the centre itself. Riders will be able to join the ride-in at various points within the city on route to the IBCC, where motorcyclists will be able to enjoy discounted entry to the centre itself, as well as trade stands and food stalls – all for a tenner.
Charities: IBCC, RAF Benevolent Fund, Motorcycle Outreach
Date: Sunday 13th May 2018
Location: International Bomber Command Centre, Lincoln
Longest Day Down
Be prepared, this is a hardcore charity ride. Lands’ End to John O’Groats in 24 hours… on a road legal motorcycle that costs no more than £300.
The Longest Day Down ride begins at sunrise at Lands’ End on 21st June – the longest day of the year – with riders given a designated route to reach John O’Groats. The cost of taking part is £300, which includes accommodation and road side support, but the event is limited to just 25 entrants.
The total money raised for Cancer Research UK over the previous five Longest Day Down events is over £87,600, with the organisers hoping 2018 will tip the event total to over £100,000.
Charity: Cancer Research UK
Date: Thursday 21st June 2018
Location: Lands’ End to John O’Groats
Plymouth Mega Ride
The Plymouth Mega Ride began 23 years ago, and raises money for a selection of charities every year. Riders gather at the Lee Mill Industrial Estate in Ivybridge, and travel towards Marley Head and then towards Plymouth, following a route through the city centre ending on the Plymouth Hoe Promenade. When the group arrives at the Promenade, there’s a selection of trade stalls and entertainment for both riders and spectators to enjoy. A minimum donation of £3 will be collected on arrival at Lee Mill Industrial Estate, or £5 if you’re riding with a pillion.
Charities: To be announced
Date: August (Specific date TBC)
Location: Lee Mill Industrial Estate, Ivybridge, to Plymouth Hoe Promenade
Essex Air Ambulance Motorcycle Run
Starting in Ford Dunton, the Essex Air Ambulance Motorcycle Run sees thousands of bikers join the ride as the convoy makes its 60-mile journey to the small port town of Harwich. As bikes ride through the town, spectators line the streets and make their way to Harwich Green, where there’s everything from live music and trade stands to a helicopter simulator.
Charity: Essex Air Ambulance
Date: September (Specific date TBC)
Location: Ford Dunton to Harwich, Essex
Get the dates in your diary for a charity ride this year. There’s not much of a better feeling than knowing riding your motorcycle is helping to save lives and raising awareness of fantastic causes.