An ace day for Brandon
On 20 April, the sun had barely risen as 23 motorcycle riders from across the west of England gathered at Brandon Trust’s head office in Patchway. The Fundraising team welcomed everyone with bacon butties, hot drinks and biscuits as the riders prepared for the 120-mile journey.
The 23 motorcyclists, known as the ‘Brandon Bikers’, were embarking upon a fundraising ride in aid of Brandon Trust’s Dream Fund, a fund established to provide life-changing opportunities, enabling people to live lives with less limitations, and we're incredibly proud to play our part.
A mix of Tourer, Cruiser and Sports bikes headed East on the M4, travelling in close formation through the increasing traffic. Riding solo is challenging enough but when you have a large group of bikes travelling in close formation at speed, concentration is paramount.
It was a chilly morning and the brisk air chilled our bones as we sped across open road. Just after 10am Gary, Kal and myself took the lead as we headed into Membury services for a cuppa.
Warmed by hot coffee, we set off again for the next planned stop, Heston services. It was uplifting to see the sun poke through as we sped away, keeping in formation. As we neared the outskirts of London, the traffic became denser as we passed over the Hammersmith flyover, joined the old North circular road and headed for the Ace café, our destination.
The Ace is a motoring mecca! Steeped in history, its birth in 1938 began a legacy for petrol heads. Destroyed during World War II, Ace café was rebuilt in 1949 sporting motorcycle challenges around the North Circular. The jukebox was in constant demand, the infamous Ton-Up Boys used to drop a coin in, pick their song and race, hoping to be back before the song finished! Motorbikes, speed and rock 'n' roll; a sweet combination which ended with the café closure in 1969. The café was re-opened in 2001 and us petrol heads were delighted!
It’s hard to resist taking away a memento of this eventful day. Loaded with goodies, riders warmed and fed, we set off homeward bound. Pulling out of London we said farewell to a legend.
I love my bike; it’s a part of me. Riding puts you in an environment where you are almost at one with everything around you. Each drop of rain, each bump in the road, the wind in your face, the power behind the throttle and your senses, heightened like never before. Leaning the bike into corners, a quick flick to and fro and out of the corner we come, throttle back and away we go. The vulnerability, the adrenaline; so exciting!
We're so privileged to be able to jump on our machines and experience such freedom. Motorcycles bring people from all walks of life together and every ride is a thrill; most will say "once you’ve experienced the connection you never want to give it up". Riding is more than just a method of getting from A-to-B; motorcycles are pure passion.
We also realise too many people are not always empowered with independence, freedom and control. Brandon Trust does a remarkable job addressing this, but like every fantastic cause, additional support is invaluable. The motorcycle community I belong to holds these things in high regard and we've come together to support Brandon, its Dream Fund, and to hopefully help other people live their dreams and experience freedom.
Motorcyclist and Brandon Biker