This morning it was refreshing to read in the national press, in amongst the gloom of world financial melt down, an article about motorcycling, particularly where money is to be raised for charity. I refer of course to the involvement of William and Harry in a trek across South Africa.
Now I’m by no means an anti royalist, and given their privileged position and opportunities I (like many others) would also jump at the chance to take part in such an adventure. I’m sure that the bikes and equipment will have been supplied and will be maintained by major manufacturers, and I’m sure the Royal Protection officers will have a great time. It is also important to promote motorcycling as both a form of transport and hobby, whilst governments try to tighten the legislative controls affecting the machines.
However (you knew it was coming didn’t you!) the story that was missed was the “Hogs on the Bridge” event that took place on Sunday 19th October 2008, in the southwest of England and south Wales. Thousands of private motorcyclists gathered at the Severn Bridge services to ride across the M48 old Severn Bridge, taking a route through villages in South Wales before completing the event in Chepstow, raising thousands of pounds for charity.
To my knowledge everyone prepared their own machines, paid for their own fuel, and their own clothing. Riders from all backgrounds and every form and class of motorcycle were represented, Harleys to Hondas, classic British bikes to the latest models, large touring bikes, though sports and enduro machines to commuter scooters.
The spectacle was watched by people of all ages who turned out to watch the bikes pass through their villages. Again to my knowledge there was no trouble, and the atmosphere was friendly. So whilst it is commendable for these two young men to brave the sunny climate in South Africa perhaps next year Wills could bring his Ducati to Hogs on the Bridge next October so the important stories can make the press! I’m sure the protection officers will have fun too. My thanks to the organisers of the event for their organisation, planning and hard work on the day.