Ran­dom, in­clu­sive and ready to ride

South Waikato News - - NEWS - By CAITLIN WAL­LACE

Noth­ing beats the feel­ing of the open road on a mo­tor­cy­cle and the es­cape of re­al­ity while hear­ing the roar­ing en­gine of a Har­ley-David­son.

That is ac­cord­ing to the Ran­dom Rid­ers.

But leathers aside, the Toko­roa- based mo­tor­cy­cle clan does not fit the stereo­typ­i­cal hard­core biker im­age.

They come from all walks of life and share a love of cruis­ing open roads on two wheels.

Five of the found­ing mem­bers Shawn Evans, Thomas Lee, Maryanne Crapp and Keith and Julie Kelly de­cided to cre­ate the group at a rally 10 years ago.

‘‘We’re just a ran­dom bunch of people, with ran­dom bikes that do things pretty ran­domly and noth­ing has changed re­ally,’’ Evans said.

They no­ticed the vast num­ber of bik­ers in the South Waikato who rode in sep­a­rate groups and wanted to con­nect the like-minded people.

Evans, owner of Gate­way Glass, said rid­ers shed all la­bels when they get on the back of a bike.

‘‘It doesn’t mat­ter how old you are, what you ride, what you do for a job or even if you have a job, no-one needs to know your sec­ond name,’’ Evans said.

The group quickly ex­panded in its first year when close to 80 people flooded in to join the group.

‘‘It’s not just Toko­roa-based, there are rid­ers from Tau­ranga, Bay of Plenty and Taupo,’’ Evans said.

Ten years and 120 mem­bers on, the tight-knit group is still go­ing strong.

That is largely down to its pro­tec­tive, in­clu­sive na­ture.

Evans said email is their means of com­mu­ni­ca­tion and is used for invit­ing mem­bers on trips

‘‘If 100 people turned up or one per­son did, it didn’t mat­ter, you did what you want,’’ he said.

The fun trips away are al­ways re­mem­bered, yet the sad oc­ca­sions are never for­got­ten.

Ran­dom Rid­ers strive to make it to fu­ner­als of mem­bers who die.

‘‘That is the hard­est thing we have gone through as a group in the 10 years,’’ he said.

As well as the close friend­ships and sup­port for each other, they sup­port their beloved com­mu­nity.

Fundrais­ers are held for the people of the South Waikato.

One of their more well­known events is the an­nual poker run.

Evans said the amount of in­put from mem­bers and businesses was amaz­ing.

He never imag­ined the event, filled with bik­ers and end­ing with a poker tour­na­ment, would con­tinue 10 years on.

Last year’s pro­ceeds went to­wards the West­pac res­cue he­li­copter.

JOY RID­ERS: Thomas Lee, left, and Shawn Evans share their enthusiasm with fel­low bik­ers from the re­gion.

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