Bikers raise money for air ambulance charity

DOZENS of bikers rode the length of Gwent yesterday to raise money for the Wales Air Ambulance.

The first Steelhouse Rock’n’Ride Motorbike Rideout saw riders take to the road from South Wales Superbikes, at Queensway Meadows in Newport, ending up at Ebbw Vale Welfare and Rugby Club.

Those taking part wore fluorescent ribbons as a tribute to bikers who have died on the roads in Wales, most recently Kevin Morgan and Lee Harris, who died in separate collisions last weekend.

The rideout was put together at short notice, by Ebbw Vale-based design, events and branding company Limeface, which also organises the Steelhouse Festival, also in Ebbw Vale.

Bethan James, of Limeface, said inspiration for the event was taken from a ‘ride for life’ in Shropshire that attracted more than 3,000 bikers.

“We felt there should be something in South Wales,” she said.

“It’s a chance to raise money for a charity which does vital work in getting people to hospital from places and situations where a conventional ambulance cannot get.

“It has also been a chance to remember people who have lost their lives. Recently we have seen a spate of motorcycle fatalities in our area and nationally.

“This is simply a mark of respect to those who have been affected, as well as the riders themselves. We had 200 fluorescent ribbons and most of them have gone.”

Live music, a raffle, trade stands and exhibitions were among the attractions at the Ebbw Vale end of the rideout, which Ms James said will be held again next year.

“We had about £500 before the rideout happened. We’ll have more time to organise next year, to let the wider biking community know.”

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