DOING IT FOR THE KIDS WITH EASTER EGG AND TOY RUNS
Reading Toy Run:
Ôweõre brought together by a mutual love of bikes and a great causeõ
Susan Riley joined in the 2015 Reading Toy Run, which has seen bikers donate more than 250,000 toys and over £30,000 to Barnado’s since 1985. The event on December 6, 2015 attracted 2000 people on 1700 bikes.
Santa beams down from her gleaming red Vespa. Elves compare tinsel-strewn sportsbikes. Penguins and puddings admire the enormous Christmas tree sprouting from the back of Batman’s BMW R1200GS.
This is the 30th anniversary of the Reading Toy Run, a mass ride for festively-costumed bikers to donate toys to Barnado’s. The first event in 1985, organised by the Reading Branch of the Christian Motorcyclists Association, attracted 18 riders. Continued by a core of firm friends from that original group, the event now pulls in around 2000 people and set a Guinness World Record in 2014 for the most participants in a toy run.
“It’s my fourth time here,” grins Susan Riley from her festooned Vespa. “I came by myself, but you’re instantly welcomed. It’s exhilarating; riding with your fellow bikers in a massive group of like-minded people, all brought together by a mutual love of bikes and a great cause… seeing the costumes and the thousands lining the streets, little kids waving, being part of the atmosphere and know you’re doing good too – you get back so much more than you give!”
Susanõs advice on joining in
“It’s easier to take part than you think. With Reading Toy Run there’s no registration process or fee. Meet a local riding group if you’re nervous, but really just turn up with a toy – the fantastic biking community will take care of you!”
This yearõs eventsé
Keep an eye on www. readingtoyrun.org for the 2016 date, but if you can’t wait, try an Easter Egg rideout like the Wirral Egg Run on Sunday, March 13 (www.wirraleggrun.org).