Paignton’s regular Wednesday evening bike nights, organised by Bikers Make A Difference, drew to a close on a high despite the poor weather.
BMAD pulled out all the stops to put on a mini festival in a night, including live music from local band Bare Foot Liarz, the organisers fighting against torrential rain to get the site ready before the first of the bikers arrived.
“Last year due to the atrocious weather we only had 194 hardy souls turn up on bikes” said BMAD Chairman Andy Hobbs, ”thankfully this year the weather was a little better and we had 221 bikes turning up, raising another £562.”
“Unfortunately we didn’t have the full house we wanted to raise enough money to push our fund raising for 2013 past the £30,000 mark, which would have been a fantastic achievement!
“But thankfully thanks to two sizeable donations from Mifsuds Photography of Brixham and the Paignton Carnival, the total donated in 2013 for our charitable causes by bikers and the public is an astounding £31,917.”
Mr Hobbs continued: “That I just an outstanding result for us, I’ve said it before but it bears repeating, it is so humbling that so much is donated over the course of our festival and bike nights by bikers and others who, like us, wish to help those less fortunate than themselves. It’s what we do!”
Also taking place was the presentation of cheques to BMAD’s supported charities, with cheques going to Devon Air Ambulance Trust (£2,000), Devon Freewheelers (£4,500), St John Ambulance (£2,000) and of course Torbay Young Carers (£4,000).
As expected, the Plymouth Harley Davidson sponsored Bike of the Year award was hotly contested and after the votes were counted the verdict went to Nick Roskelley (pictured) and his recently restored Kawasaki Z900 by just five votes from the Sunbeam of his old friend and fellow Torbay biker Vernon Hill. It was a double edged sword for Vernon, a fellow old school biker from the days of the Marine Tavern, who made a superb job of painting the Kawasaki!
This is the final event for BMAD in 2013, with no more bike nights until next June and next week, for the first time in seventeen weeks, the committee will not be worrying about Wednesday evening weather forecasts!”
BMAD will return to Paignton Green in 2014 over the early May Bank Holliday with the return of the ever popular music and bike festival.
Since its inception in 2002 / 2003, BMAD has become recognised as one of the major forces for local charity work in Torbay and South Devon, having now raised well over £300,000 from in and around the biking community!