Grand Prix stars join memorial bike ride

MORE than 100 riders are expected to gather on Monday to travel on some of the most scenic and best motorbiking roads in Northumberland.

The Gary Routledge Ride and Show began in 2008 as a few bikers riding in memory of an old friend and it has now grown into the popular event it is today.

As in previous years, the run will commence at the Dyke Neuk pub in Meldon with tea and bacon sandwiches at 10am. This year there will also be an alternative start point at Newcastle Motorcycles on Scotswood Road.

Both groups will leave at around 10.30am to head up the coast to Bamburgh for the tea stop, beneath the imposing ramparts of the medieval castle. This spectacular fortress makes a fitting backdrop for the scores of motorcycles from the last four decades that will gather in the car park beneath the walls.

For the return leg of the 90-mile trip, the riders will head from Bamburgh to Wooler in the foothills of the Cheviots, before the final run through the fabulous sweeping bends of the A697 to Burgham Park for the Bike Show, which will start at 1pm. Families are welcome to attend the event.

Event organisers are pleased to announce that the local riders will be joined by well-known Grand Prix riders Randy Mamola and Niall Mackenzie along with rising stars Taylor Mackenzie and Bradley Smith.

As well as the opportunity of enjoying the Northumberland roads, the professional riders will be taking part in the show where they will help with the judging, the charity auction and raffle.

This year, participants are raising money for the Great North Air Ambulance and also for the motorcycle charity Riders for Health, of which 13-times GP winner Randy Mamola was a founding member.

This charity supports and maintains motorcycles and other vehicles, which are essential for the provision of aid and medical services, in some of the poorest countries in sub-Saharan Africa.