Great Gath­er­ings: Amaz­ing im­ages from Ride to Wall

Thou­sands brave rain to join Ride to the Wall

MCN - - CONTENTS - By Justin Hayzelden MCN CON­TRIB­U­TOR

‘Con­di­tions like this say so much about the riders’

Bik­ers from all over the coun­try con­verged on the Na­tional Memo­rial Ar­bore­tum in Stafford­shire on Satur­day for the Ride to the Wall Ser­vice of Re­mem­brance. This unique event was founded in 2008 to pro­vide funds for the ar­bore­tum and to hon­our the ser­vice­men and women whose names are etched on the Armed Forces Memo­rial. RTTW be­gins with a mass ride in from 11 dif­fer­ent start points and we joined up with the group rolling out of a wet and windy Northamp­ton ser­vices. “Don’t think of it as rain, think of it as tears,” says or­gan­iser Martin Dick­in­son, as we watched a steady stream of bikes splash into the car park. “Con­di­tions like this say so much about the peo­ple tak­ing part. No­body re­ally talks about the sunny rides, but they all re­mem­ber the wet ones.” Martin’s HOG Chap­ter, Nene Val­ley, or­gan­ised the first RTTW and they’re still in­volved as mar­shals. Thanks to them, and the co­op­er­a­tion of the po­lice, progress to the NMA is sur­pris­ingly slick even the M6 Toll waive their charge for the day. Credit should also go to the ‘Bridge Babes’ who show their en­dur­ing sup­port by cheer­ing from over­passes along the route. Once all the rides were safely parked the rain did in­deed stop, al­low­ing the crowd of al­most 6500 time to re­flect dur­ing a poignant, re­spect­ful and emo­tional ser­vice. “It’s so mov­ing,’ says Steve Wag­ner from Hull, who’s taken part in the last ten rides with wife Louise. “It’s a spe­cial day for ev­ery­one, not just ex-ser­vices.”

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