Bik­ers go blue for cause

Auckland City Harbour News - - FRONT PAGE - By JESS LEE

THEY’RE big, they’re loud – and this month they’re blue.

Hun­dreds of bik­ers will ditch their black leathers for wacky blue out­fits and ride across Auck­land on Sun­day to raise aware­ness for the Prostate Can­cer Foun­da­tion of New Zealand’s cam­paign Blue Septem­ber.

Th­ese days bik­ers are com­ing round to the idea of look­ing after them­selves as well as their en­gines, Grey Lynn enthusiast Mor­gan Sobanja says.

‘‘It’s a very tight-knit com­mu­nity and get­ting your prostate checked is be­com­ing more ac­cept­able to talk about openly even among the most ma­cho blokes be­cause of th­ese events,’’ he says.

‘‘This is the time of year when you can say: ‘Mate, have you been checked yet’?’’

Sobanja is or­gan­is­ing the an­nual Bik­ers In Blue char­ity ride from Paku­ranga to Al­bany with help from hus­band and wife bik­ers Lance and Kym Dou­ble. Nearly 300 Auck­land bik­ers took part last year, but Sobanja is hop­ing to top that fig­ure with an ex­tra 100 bikes hit­ting the road this year.

The 45-year-old says many of the par­tic­i­pants are aged in their 40s or 50s – the age at which the Prostate Can­cer Foun­da­tion rec­om­mends men have an­nual prostate checks.

‘‘Prostate can­cer kills hun­dreds of men in New Zealand each year. We need to bring that fig­ure down. And with hu­mour guys can deal with that mes­sage – it’s a good way to make guys lis­ten.’’

The ride is open to all mo­tor­cy­clists and clubs, who can reg­is­ter on­line or at the start­ing line on the day.

There will be a raf­fle, auc­tion and sausage siz­zle at both ends of the ride with all pro­ceeds go­ing to the Prostate Can­cer Foun­da­tion of NZ. Rid­ers will meet on Septem­ber 14 at Place­Mak­ers Paku­ranga from 9am and de­part for Al­bany Place­mak­ers at 10.30am.

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