300 motorcyclists ride to raise money for kids

THE 37TH annual Ulysses Motorcycle Toy Run pulled a crowd of 300 riders to raise funds for kids in need at Christmas.

First ignited by the Motorcycles Riders Association in 1981, the annual event began with brekky in Ballina and finished with a ride and and a raffled at Harold Fredricks car park.

The toy run attracts riders and their families across the Northern Rivers to participate to support the Our Kids Foundation.

Alstonville local and Motorbike rider Scott Trevelyan who attends the fundraiser yearly, brought his son along for the ride on his 1974 collectible.

"It's a great excuse to get out on the road, mix with like-minded people and support a good cause," Mr. Trevelyan said.

Will McMillan, former president of the MRA honoured the tradition by riding his R100RS 1977 BMW which he road in the first ever toy run.

Mr McMillan said that from it's very first year the event has created broader understanding and community awareness around motorbike riders that can be labelled with harsh stereotypes.

"We were suffering badly from police harassment at the time, plus media harassment... the 'bad bikies syndrome', so we saw this as a way to show that we are just normal guys, riding bikes and we're doing something for Christmas for the kids," Mr McMillan said.

Current president of the Northern Rivers Ulysses and event organiser, Ron Gaudron, is another rider with a big heart who hoped to raise between $3,000 and $5,000 throughout the day.

"A lot of bike shops donate parts to us that we then give as prizes in the raffle to raise money," Mr Gaudron said.

The event attracted riders across the Northern Rivers and had the full support of the community and local police who helped escort riders through traffic and run a few red lights.

"It's beautiful, the police help us out with traffic control and travelling along, cars are supportive and there are no hassles," Mr Gaudron said.

The Ulysses club has a member base of around 20,000.

"People don't realise we have members who are doctors, lawyers, police officers, military and all professions throughout the community." Mr. Gaudron Said.

Each year, Santa comes along too with a member of the Ulysses dressing up in full attire to celebrate the Christmas for families.