Hundreds set for big charity ride

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Bike club members with one of the big prizes to be won on the ride - an Indian cabinet.
Bike club members with one of the big prizes to be won on the ride - an Indian cabinet.

Over a glass of wine, motorcycle enthusiasts Willy Ransfield and Natalie Rogers came up with an idea to help spark today's Ride Safe On Ya Bike Mystery Charity Ride to raise funds for Cranford Hospice - and the idea ended up in the US where it got the official nod.

An official nod from Indian Motorcycles.

Organised by the Hawke's Bay British American Motorcycle Club, tomorrow's run is the second to be staged with last year's event bringing about 400 motorcycles together and netting around $8000 for the hospice. Mr Ransfield is hoping to draw more than 400 bikes this year for what will now become a biannual event.

He said he and his business partner Ms Rogers wanted to create a different approach which added some good value for raising funds for the charity.

So they figured getting people to donate $5 to Cranford in return for the chance to win a brand new $30,000 Indian V-twin motorcycle would get plenty of interest stirred up.

Which, since it took shape back at the start of August, is has - big time.

There was a glitch however as there were no Indian motorcycle agents in Hawke's Bay, so he gave Garry Gill from agents Wellington Motorcycles a call.

He was impressed with what he heard.

"He has supported many past charitable motorcycle events but on a smaller scale," Mr Ransfield said.

"He said it was a first for him to receive such a professional presentation at this level from a motorcycle club."

Mr Gill's only slight concern was involving a world-wide brand like Indian in association with a small 20-member motorcycle club "currently based in a shed in Ahuriri".

But he put it forward to the Indian company in the US and they gave it their approval.

The club then pitched the idea to Cranford Hospice and they were excited about it.

Since putting the word out about the ride the support had been overwhelming, Mr Ransfield said.

They have attracted 80 sponsors and put together a package of prizes, including a unique "one-off" 'Indian' cabinet filled with mystery "goodies".

And anyone who guesses a pre-selected number plate correctly would pick up the brand new Indian.

Today's ride will set off from Cranford Hospice in Knight St at 11am, after registrations from 9am.

The iron horse posse will be led by a pilot vehicle and police had offered to do a spot of escorting as well so the hundreds of bikes could safely leave town for the open road run.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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