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What started out as an idea by a young lady turned out to be the motorcycling event, possibly, of the decade.
The plan was for her and a few mates to ride though Wootton Bassett, the place though where our repatriated soldiers pass, to show that they are not forgotten.

No one could of imagined how much it would have snowballed, ending up with at least 15,000 bikers passing through, and requiring the organisational skills of the military, police and a large Charity (Afghan Heroes).
With each rider/pillion paying £5, and the associated merchandising, totals should be well in excess of £100,000

Unfortunately, the event also caused many people to stick their heads above the pulpit, with their stereo-typical attitude towards bikers and complain.
Chris Hughes of the Daily Mail went as far to say “Now we’ve seen it all – hundreds of bikers showing their “solidarity with frontline troops,” by trundling their petrol guzzling and fume spewing steeds through Wootton Bassett.”
He goes on to say: “But I wonder if someone – just for a change – could set a trend by doing something they hate doing to raise money for good causes. And something that isn’t so public and… well…. so annoying?”
This caused a massive uproar in the biking community, and even prompted a response from one of Chris’ Daily Mail colleagues – https://blogs.mirror.co.uk/cars-motorbikes/2010/03/wootton-bassett-ride-out-the-b.html

Bikers have always been a close knit community and will go out of their way to help each other. There is an inherent comradery, which ironically probably only exists in the armed forces too.

Name any holiday event in the calendar and the chances are there will be a biker run charity event associated with, the common ones being Easter and Christmas. How many other people would go out in near zero temperatures to deliver a Christmas present and smile to disadvantaged children. Admittedly, there is the lure of a mince pie and a hot drink 🙂

I sincerely hope that the Wootton Bassett event has opened many people’s eyes in a positive way, and that despite the efforts of Chris Hughes we are no longer seen as the noisy, smelly, greasy tear-abouts, but rather a community of people who are a genuine benefit to society.

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