200 bikies Ride for Respect

By Emily Norman emily norman@age co nz -
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IN LEATHERS: Bikers from the Wellington region visited the Masterton RSA for last year's Ride Of Respect. PHOTO/FILE
IN LEATHERS: Bikers from the Wellington region visited the Masterton RSA for last year's Ride Of Respect. PHOTO/FILE

Two hundred bikies from the Wellington region will pass through Wairarapa on April 24 - the day before Anzac Day - for their annual Ride Of Respect, raising funds and awareness for New Zealand returned services associations.

Stopping off in Eketahuna for a lunch break, the motorcyclists will travel close to 370 kilometres from Tawa RSA, finishing at Titahi Bay RSA, a full day of riding.

The fundraiser ride is modelled off a similar event in Britain, which raises funds for military charities and veterans which do not meet other military charities' criteria.

This year's ride commemorates 100 years since the formation of the RSA in New Zealand, and is organised by The Widows Sons Motorcycle Club.

"We were invited by the group in the UK to organise it here in New Zealand," said Neil McKee, Wellington chapter president.

"One of our organisers was in the Royal Engineers with the person who had the idea in Britain. Since then we've really got it off the ground here in New Zealand.

It's the second year we've done it."

Last year the Wellington region's Ride Of Respect raised $1915 through registrations and the funds were split between Titahi Bay, Masterton, and Upper Hutt RSAs. This was part of $11,000 raised nationwide by 900 riders.

"This year we'll be mostly focusing on RSAs that are not attached to workingmen's clubs because ones that are attached with those are not in as much financial difficulty as the ones that are on their own," Mr McKee said.

"We're expecting to be in Eketahuna at just about noon because just beforehand we're going to stop off at the ANZAC Bridge near Mount Bruce and get a photo with a few of us."

This year there are nine organised rides throughout New Zealand.

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