The first-ever motorcycle Santa run has taken place on the Isle of Man, raising thousands of pounds for the children’s wing of the Isle of Man Hospice, Rebecca House.
Starting at the TT Grandstand at 10am on Sunday, 8 December, an estimated 200 bikes then rode to Castletown for a ride of the Southern 100 course, after a quick tour of Douglas Promenade, before convoying round to the grounds of Noble’s Hospital and then back to the Grandstand for tea and mince pies.
The event was organised by island resident Oli Allen, who moved across earlier this year from Bristol, where he had organised the city’s Christmas Santa ride for the past few years, as well as this year alongside the Isle of Man.
Over £4000 raised
Raising over £4000 for the respite, palliative and end of life care for children up to the age of 18, the event was organised as part of a larger group of processions known collectively as 'Santa’s on a Bike' who also run ride outs in Devon, Bristol, Essex and Plymouth. Last year, the team raised a total of £20,000 across their events, with over 1000 bikes taking part.
"I originally went along as a rider and had a really good time," Allen said. "It was for a good cause and I loved the idea behind it. I got talking to the organiser of the Bristol ride, who wanted to take a break for a few years and wondered if I wanted to do it.
"We decided to do something a bit different to just riding the TT course, because we thought the Mountain section wouldn’t be that good at this time of year – with tinsel wrapped around the bikes."
Allen moved to the Isle of Man to become a web developer for the business telecommunications company Plan.com and after discussing the idea with the team, was able to bring the firm on board to support the project.
"I mentioned it to my office colleagues at Plan.com and they were very receptive. We also managed to get half the office to make mince pies and take part in the marshalling. Other members of staff took part in the ride, too," he added.