Hundreds of motorbikes roared into Tauranga yesterday under clear blue skies and converged on PlaceMakers in Mount Maunganui.

It was a ride to raise awareness of prostate cancer, with some of the leather-clad bikies donning the colour blue.

Riki Simmons, 37, was part of a small group from Kawerau.

"Good day for a ride, man. Got to get out there, eh," he said.


"I've been hanging out for this for a while. Get out and talk sh**. Get out on the road."

He and three others met up with about 50 riders in Whakatāne before the convoy made its way to the Mount, with a stop in Paengaroa.

"It's all for the cause, bro," Simmons, a member of the Maketū Gentleman's Club, said.

"Hopefully if I get prostate cancer, when I'm older, I'll have support," he added with a laugh.

It was his first time taking part in a PlaceMakers Bikers in Blue event. He said he would be back next year.

Simmons said he had met plenty of like-minded people on the ride.

"All walks of life, eh. Not all of them have cool Harleys," he said, again with a laugh.

"Some of them are sh**boxes, but hey."

Rhys Moon, 27, also rode from Kawerau.

He said the event was a good excuse to get the bikes out on the open road.

"And it's going to a good cause. Awesome weather, good day for it, good cause, different people to ride with, all sorts of bikes – so nah, it was good."

The main group of riders left PlaceMakers Hamilton about 10.30am yesterday morning and arrived in Mount Maunganui about midday.

Outside the Mount store, there was a barbecue going and testing was available so the men could get blood samples taken on site, then PSA levels tested in a local laboratory.

PlaceMakers has been the principal sponsor of prostate cancer national awareness month Blue September for the past eight years and has raised more than $1.9 million.

All funds go towards ground-breaking research projects, support services for survivors and their families and year-round education campaigns.

Waikato/Bay of Plenty Bikers in Blue event organiser Dean McMillan said: "We're out here in force to spread the word about how important it is for men to get tested for prostate cancer.

"It's so easy to do, and we hope us getting out there and riding through the region will draw attention to the cause and encourage Kiwi men to get checked."