The 39th annual Star Bikers Toy Run took place almost two months ago (11th December 2016) in Stoke on Trent. A ride through the city to donate toys to sick and underprivileged children throughout the region. We were honoured to be asked along once again to lead and help marshal the ride.
A number of riders met up early in the morning at McDonalds Rugeley, where the staff and customers loved the group of bikes which turned up decorated in Christmas finery, Including Blood Bikes, Joanne, Idris and Violet (who came complete with her own sound system playing Christmas songs!) Picking up more SSBB riders on route, we arrived the Bet 365 stadium around 10am ready to see the full array of decorated bikes taking part.
And we weren’t disappointed! Over the next hour bikes, trikes, quads and scooters arrived, adorned in tinsel, fairy lights, tree’s , and presents, including an amazing “snowman” bike complete with carrot nose, and more than one 6 foot Xmas tree. It’s clear that a lot of effort goes into decorating these bikes every year, and the results look spectacular.
We then had a nice surprise when a blood bike carrying a 6 foot tree arrived. Our very own Nigel B, a regular with his large tree at this event, who we didn’t think could attend due to recent ill health was feeling well enough to attend, much to our delight. Accompanied by Ro B, on the blood blade in full Christmas livery and a sporting a Buzz lightyear costume herself!
Meanwhile in the Kings Hall, Chair Helen B, and Lynne S, were busy setting up our awareness stall ready to greet the riders when they arrived.
At 11am the ride got underway. Behind the police, The Lord Mayor of Stoke on Trent, Anthony Munday, led the ride as pillion on the back of a Honda Goldwing! Followed by team SSBB and hordes of decorated bikes, all donating at least one toy.
During the ride, which took just over an hour, crowds of onlookers came out of their houses and stood along the street to applaud and hand out more toys to the riders. Marshals and police did a fantastic job of ensuring the entire procession arrived safely at Kings Hall.
Inside the hall our team were on hand to raise awareness and chat to fellow bikers about what we do, while the arriving crowd could enjoy well earned refreshments and rock out to some great music.
What a fantastic day, a credit to the organisers and everyone involved, and an event which we are very proud to be part of each year.
All of the toys donated will make a huge difference to many children and families throughout the region, and with 900 bikes taking part, that’s a lot of presents and a lot of happy kids who otherwise may have had nothing.
See you next year for the 40th running of the event, which really will be the “Big One”!