For the past 3 years, I have had the privilege of taking part in the Reading Christian Bikers Toy Run.
The Reading Toy Run is an annual charity motorcycle ride in Reading - held just before Christmas. It has continued over 26 years to attract hundreds of bikers from all aspects of the biking fraternity to join together, mid-winter, in bringing gifts of toys to a major children’s charity. These toys are then distributed by Barnardo's, over the Christmas period to children in many of their centres around the UK. in recent years, the ride has attracted over 2,000 participants.
The event sees these 2,000 bikers ride, dress up in costumes, decorate their bikes, then ride a pre-planned route through the partially blocked off streets from Foster Wheeler, in Reading, to Barnardo's in Wokingham.
As well as the bikers, crowds gather along the route and an amazing sense of togetherness fills the air. Some kids and adults hi-5 the bikers, everyone waves and the bikers beep their horns.
When the we (the bikers) reach our destination, we feed into a hall where we hand over presents we've purchased which will then be donated directly to the kids through Barnardo's.
Once out of the hall, there is a raffle where more money is raised and the biker’s congregate for a cup of tea and a biscuit.
The first time I did it, I was in awe of how I felt, actually helping these children and the whole day brings a tear to my eye.
Unfortunately, every year, with the best intentions, I never have much money for costumes for me and my wife (Terri) and our presents aren't much. This year, I would like to change that, buy buying two costumes and more presents.
I have put a link to the Christian Bikers website (http://readingtoyrun.blogspot.co.uk) which organises the event, they do an AMAZING job of paperwork and planning to make the whole day such a joy to all involved.
I have also put up a video up, please go to the video to see more videos, including the journey using my on-board camera.
Thank you for looking.