Hundreds of bikers gather for ride and show in Gary’s memory

The Gary Routledge Ride Best in Show winner Keith Arkle with his Suzuki GT750.
The Gary Routledge Ride Best in Show winner Keith Arkle with his Suzuki GT750.

MORE than 400 bikes gathered at the Dyke Neuk in Meldon for the Gary Routledge Ride & Show.

It began in 2008 as a memorial run following Gary’s untimely death from cancer in 2007, and is now an annual regional motorcycling charity event.

This year’s participants were joined by GP legends Randy Mamola and Niall Mackenzie, as well as rising stars Taylor Mackenzie and Bradley Smith, before riding north along the winding roads of the coastal route.

Brilliant sunshine and the splendour of Bamburgh Castle awaited the bikers at the tea stop, where locals and tourists were treated to a display of machines from five decades of motorcycling history. From Bamburgh, the route passed through the rolling Northumbrian hills along the A697 to the bike show at Burgham.

This year saw attendance at the show almost treble, with a huge variety of motorcycles including two Suzuki RG500s and the sidecar of local racer David Lilley.

The standard of the entries was extremely high, with the judges awarding Best in Show to the immaculate Suzuki GT750 of Keith Arkle. The awards were presented by Gary’s sister Julie.

The professionals also selected their personal favourites, with Mamola choosing an early Honda CB750, while Niall MacKenzie harked back to his youth with a Yamaha RD400.

In the region of £1,500 was collected for the Riders for Health charity and the Great North Air Ambulance, with much of the total raised through a charity auction.

The organisers of the event thanked everyone who contributed to its success, including local sponsors Ian Bell Motorcycles, Morpeth Motorcycles and Burgham Park Golf Club.