On Sunday 25th September more that 50,000 dapper riders in over 500 cities across 90 countries united for the world's largest motorcycling charity event, it was an absolutely epic day out!
The two charities involved was Prostrate Cancer and Male Suicide Prevention. Both of which are close to my heart.
I have had a 2cm lump removed from my bowel, thankfully I am ok, but you never know when the cruel hand of fate will lay his finger upon you!
I have over the years been in some very dark places. So know from first hand experience how the darkness can consume you. Your mind plays tricks and no solace can be found or comfort taken from being told that eventually things will work out. All you want is an end to things.
On a lighter note though, this day was all about raising awareness and what better way to do that than to don your fancy clothes and make as much noise as you can on your pride and joy.
In my case it was the Ural Dalesman 750cc sidecar outfit. Accompanied by my gorgeous wife Kiera or "Monkey" or "Ballast" as she is often referred to whilst in the sidecar!!
Here we are going around the bends at Sopley at a comfortable speed, as neither myself of Kiera are hanging on!
It was an early start for us both, the start point was at Poole Quay and we were given instructions to be there by 0900hrs.
As I like to build in a hefty margin of error to allow for all eventualities, we arrived at 0750hrs!
This did however allow us plenty of time to park up, admire the other bikes and more importantly devour a massive fry up in the local pub and consume a gallon of coffee!
Kiera looking splendid and refreshed after breakfast, it was a rather chilly ride to Poole at that time of the morning. Thankfully the weather for the day was looking good.
There was a briefing by James (the ride organiser) telling us of all the do's and dont's and once that was over 200 plus motorbikes started their engines - a cacophony of the sweetest burble of engines you will ever hear!
The route was in a number of stages, the first stage took us out along Poole Quay, through Poole Park and out to Sandbanks where we looped around and came back again.
This was my first experience of riding in a large group and it was an amazing experience. People were waving at us and looking in amazement as all these bikes went by with all the riders dressed to the nines.
Of all the fabulous bikes that were on parade these two made me smile the most!
Everyone had dressed up for the occasion, plenty of tweed, tailored suits, riding outfits and military uniforms. It was a spectacle!
We headed for Bournemouth and hugging the coast, and went past the pier and turned right and headed up the hill for Southbourne. We were heading for Boscombe Pier. Here we rode along the front all the way back to Bournemouth Pier and parked up where the old IMAX cinema used to be.
We stayed here for a good 45 minutes, chatting away and looking at all the motorbikes, a very friendly crowd with everyone in high spirits.
Once we had driven away from here, which I must say was the highlight for me as there were hundreds of people watching us. Everyone was revving engines, beeping horns and cheering. An amazing experience.
More chatting, laughing and admiring of each others motorcycles took place as we enjoyed a drink in the sun.
Turning out of the pub we headed for Sopley where we looped around the village and retraced our steps where the first photo was taken at the beginning of this blog.
We then basically retraced our steps all the way back to Southbourne and yet another pub where we parked up and relaxed for a few hours. Live music, a raffle (where I won a poker game prize) and food was all laid on for us.
A brilliant end to the day.
We both agreed that it was one of the best days we have ever had. The atmosphere was amazing, we both had massive grins on our faces and to top it all I managed to raise £150.00 for the charities involved.
A fantastic day out. We will be definitely signing up for next years event, this is one not to be missed!
The journey continues...............