MOTORBIKE riders are revved up for the South Island leg of the White Ribbon Ride 2017, and their looking for recruits.
White Ribbon Ride leader Colin Agnew, who has been riding in the annual event since it started 10 years ago in the North Island only, said the nine day ride would start in Nelson on Friday, November 17 and visit Hokitika, Timaru, Cromwell, Invercargill, Balclutha, Oamaru and Christchurch.
Since the South Island ride was first held in 2011 with eight or nine riders taking part, participation in the event had grown year on year, he said.
“This year we have the biggest number of riders ever.”
Recent years had seen a core group of about a dozen riders returning yearly and a growing number of riders joining them as they approached towns to welcome them and ride part of the way.
“We like the local riders to join us at the local events. The more we can get the better. The whole idea is to attract attention. The more attention we draw the easier it is for us to get the message out there.”
Last year there were about 15 riders and this year there were 30, he said.
The youngest passenger this year was 12 (riding pillion) and the oldest was 64.
“All these people are giving up time at work and paying their own expenses. They’ll be riding for about nine to 10 hours every day. It’s a pretty big commitment, not to mention wear and tear on bodies and bikes.”
There are four Southlanders in the core group of riders.
“Invercargill always gives us a great reception. Southland has always been good with supporting us with outside-town riders too.”
After 10 years, Mr Agnew said he realised the message was getting out there.
“People realise we need to do more. We’d like to see as many people as possible attend the events in Invercargill and Gore to help us get the message out there to the people who need the help.”
For more information go to www.whiteribbon.org.nz/act/white-ribbon-ride
LOCAL EVENTS FOR WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 22
10am to 11am at the MLT Event Centre, Robertson Street, West Gore.
12am to 1.15pm at the South Alive Community Artspace, South City Mall, Elles Road.
1.30pm to 2.30pm at Te Wharekura O Arowhenua school, 734 Tweed St.
Anyone can join the Ride but must abide by the following rules:
No alcohol or drugs
No gang patches
Must have motorcycle of 250cc or greater (except within city and town limits)
Must follow the instructions of the Ride Leader or Road Captains
Must agree to the white ribbon pledge.