By Dave Abrahams
Cape Town – If you want bikers to turn out for your charity event, you need four main ingredients: beer, a badge, a noisy mass ride and a cause riders can identify with, preferably involving children.
So not even rain earlier in the day could keep almost 1000 riders away from the Sunflower Fund’s annual Ride 4 Hope fund-raiser, hosted by the MOTHs Motorcycle Association at the Killarney racing circuit on Sunday – because it had all four of those ingredients.
The Sunflower Fund was founded in 1999 by the mothers of two teenagers who died of leukaemia because the South African Bone Marrow Registry wasn’t big enough to find them a match. Its aim is recruit donors wherever possible and, more importantly, to raise funds to defray the cost of testing each volunteer donor – currently R2000 a time - and getting their bone marrow profile on to the registry.
Which is why many of the riders paid extra to have their heads shaved or their hair coloured, in sympathy with the notorious side-effects suffered by chemotherapy patients, before wandering around a variety of food stalls and ‘biker bling’ vendors, greeting friends among the biking community, until it was time for the mass ride.
R85 000 raised
Hundreds of motorcycles formed up on the back straight of the circuit at 10am, to complete a parade lap before heading out on to the roads of the Atlantic seaboard, escorted by traffic officers on a roundabout route that brought them back to the circuit for a day of loud music and hard partying - and raising R85 000 for the Sunflower Fund.
They were celebrating the sunshine that had broken through and the start of a new biking season, with a number of riders mentioning proudly that they were out for the first time on new machines. But mostly they were there to celebrate the community spirit for which bikers are renowned – just having a good time in a good cause.