When Woodville's Clive Boyden first suggested a motorbike ride to raise money for our rescue helicopter he had no idea how big the event would become.

On Saturday, December 10, the 24th Woodville Lions Suzuki Coast to Coast ride from Himatangi on the west coast to Akitio Beach on the east will roar into life.

The ride has now raised more than $170,000 for the Palmerston North Rescue Helicopter service which has been flying for 25 years, making the Woodville Lions the longest, continuous supporter of the chopper service.

"We started with 200 bikes but Shirley [wife] and I had bets as we headed to Himatangi that first year as to how many riders would be there," Mr Boyden said.


Now up to 500 riders take part in the event and this year three riders, Trevor Ward, Lynn Southee and Grant McRae, who have been on all 23 rides, will be pulling on their leathers, donning helmets and setting out on the more than 200 kilometre journey.

Like all other eager riders, they believe this is one of the most enjoyable motorcycle rides on offer.

For 71-year-old Mr Ward the ride is about proving his old 1969 TR6P bike can make it there and back.

"I pat it on the tank when we've made it," he said. "I absolutely enjoy this ride."

No one else has been riding the same bike all the 24 years.

"Others would have traded their bike in by now, but not Trevor," Mr Boyden said.

Mr Ward's Triumph came to him as a box of bits he believed was a Triumph Saint.

"When I opened it up there were pieces from the 1950s, 60s and 70s and I built it up," he said.

"It's just had a complete motor rebuild. In the early days it had no plates and I'd go on the Coast to Coast with plates belonging to an old caravan until I saw the error of my ways and registered it. This is a very reliable bike, but I always take a spanner and screwdriver with me, just in case, because these English bikes have problems with oil leaks."

Mr Ward's wife Lesley rides pillion passenger for the Coast to Coast and will clock up her 24th ride this month too.

Mr Southee and Mr McRae will also kick their bikes into gear for their 24th Coast to Coast. And while Bruce Hancock passed away in 2014, his wife Lynette has been a pillion passenger or riding a Harley Davidson every year and will also take part in her 24th Coast to Coast traverse.

The Woodville Lions Coast to Coast will arrive in Woodville at noon, at the end of the town's Christmas parade, with a lunch stop in Fountaine Square.

"Woodville will reverberate with the roar of the bikes and we're thrilled to be able to support our rescue helicopter which is a critical frontline health service for this region," Stewart Sinclair, vice president of the Woodville Lions Club, said.

And Stewart Davies, trustee for Phillips Search and Rescue which operates the Palmerston North Rescue helicopter service, said the ride is a great effort by a group of wonderful volunteers.