Bik­ers pre­pare for Toy Run

The Wokingham Paper - - NEWS -

SANTA Claus is com­ing to town – and he has swapped his rein­deer for a Har­ley-David­son.

The an­nual Read­ing Toy Run in aid of Barnardo’s is head­ing to Wok­ing­ham next Sun­day.

Last year’s event was can­celled due to win­try con­di­tions – an un­ex­pected snow­fall hit the roads – so bik­ers are look­ing for­ward to get­ting back into the sad­dle.

When it takes place on De­cem­ber 9, more than 2,000 bik­ers are ex­pected to take part in what is of­fi­cially the world’s big­gest mo­tor­cy­cle toy run.

Ev­ery rider will carry a toy which is do­nated to Barnardo’s and other chil­dren’s char­i­ties over Christ­mas.

When the event was launched 33 years ago, only 18 rid­ers took part.

Now, or­gan­iser Ben Spiller says around 1,700 big hearted mo­tor­cy­clists are ex­pected rid­ing ev­ery­thing from small trikes to mon­ster ma­chines.

“The idea just caught on and it has be­come the big­gest of its kind in the world,” he ex­plained.

“It’s easy to just put your hand in your pocket and not know where your money will go to. But with the Toy Run, peo­ple make the ef­fort to turn up from all over the coun­try with a toy that will de­light a young per­son this Christ­mas.”

Thou­sands of peo­ple are ex­pected to turn out to wel­come the rid­ers and cheer them on.

“In­evitably, some roads are closed but we have al­ready put up signs to alert peo­ple,” added Ben.

“We want to thank mo­torists for their pa­tience and apol­o­gise in ad­vance for delays that might be ex­pe­ri­enced be­cause roads will be closed on the route as the bikes come through.”

Roads af­fected are Whit­ley Wood Lane, Lower Ear­ley Way be­tween The Black Boy Round­about and The Show­case cin­ema.

Then it will be the A329 Read­ing Road be­tween the Show­case and Shute End and Rec­tory Road and Wilt­shire Road to High Close School.

Th­ese clo­sures will af­fect traf­fic on ad­ja­cent roads too.

“This is the 33rd An­niver­sary of the Toy Run and count­less chil­dren have ben­e­fited at Christ­mas from the toys and gifts brought by the bik­ers,” said Ben.

“The crowds lin­ing the streets are al­ways fan­tas­tic. If you can spare time to watch along the route, that would be great.”

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