Richard Hammond joins Carl Fogarty to lead Bike4Life Ride Out

Bikers head around Emstrey Island in Shrewsbury. Photo: Steven Oliver.
Bikers head around Emstrey Island in Shrewsbury. Photo: Steven Oliver.

Superbike Champion Carl Fogarty and Richard Hammond will lead the Bike4Life 2015 Ride Out from Shrewsbury to RAF Museum Cosford this Sunday.

Duran Duran front-man Simon Le Bon and former England Rugby Captain Mike Tindal MBE who are both motorbike enthusiasts have also joined forces to support the annual motorbike festival which helps raise money for the Midlands Air Ambulance Charity.

The ride out will start out at 11.30am on Sunday 26 April from Meole Brace in Shrewsbury with 3,500 bikers expected to take to the roads in convoy before arriving at RAF Cosford where the festival will be under way.

Simon Le Bon, lead singer of the iconic British rock band Duran Duran, who are currently completing work on their 14th studio album, has been a keen biker for many years. He didn’t think twice about supporting the event and the Midlands Air Ambulance Charity. Le Bon who currently rides a 1968 Triumph Bonneville T120r, a 1997 Yamaha XT500 and a 1991 Ducati 888 SPS said;

“Two of my biggest passions in life, next to music, have long been sailing and motorbikes, so I am thrilled to be able to support this year’s Bike4Life event, alongside “Foggy”, Richard Hammond and Mike Tindall and help raise valuable funds for the Midlands Air Ambulance Charity. The life-saving work that all of the UK’s air ambulance services do, alongside the RAF/Royal Navy SAR helicopters teams, is vital – and like so many bike enthusiasts, I know the value of emergency medical care only too well. I am honoured to have been invited to get involved in this year’s campaign and lend my support to the Midlands Air Ambulance and Bike4Life 2015.”

Now in its fifth year, Bike4Life is the biking event to kick start the motorcycle season. The annual Bike4Life Festival raised over £30,000 for the Midlands Air Ambulance last year. In previous years it has attracted over 8,000 bikers and enthusiasts from across the UK the Midlands Air Ambulance Charity hopes to make 2015’s event the biggest and best yet! This year a record 3,500 bikers are expected to take part in the ride out!

TV presenter Richard Hammond is an avid biker and has ridden motorbikes since the age of 16, he currently rides a collection of bikes from the 1920’s right up to date and his daily ride, a BMW R1200RT, which he describes as ugly with a face like a melted welly.

“I love riding bikes, it’s something I’ve done for as long as I remember. And I plan to carry on doing it for a long time yet. And it doesn’t matter how good you get, how skilled, experienced or advanced; it’s other motorists who perhaps aren’t as focused as you that will get you. and when they do, it hurts.

“I got caught out twice last year, hitting the deck both times. I was lucky; not so badly beaten up. But I know only too well how important and vital the lifesaving work of the Midlands Air Ambulance is in critical situations. Often it can mean the difference between life and death, especially on rural roads and locations which are inaccessible for land ambulances to reach.

“The Bike4Life campaign is a great way for all bikers to come together and show their support for the great work of the Midlands Air Ambulance. Let’s be honest, nobody wants to require their services, but when you do, you’re very, very glad they’re there. Please sign up today and join the ride out on Sunday 26 April.”

The Midlands Air Ambulance Charity (MAAC) is one of the busiest air ambulance services in the UK. The charity was the first ever air ambulance to be established in the UK in 1991 and next year will celebrate its 25th anniversary. The charity receives no government funding and no national lottery donations and relies solely on the generosity of the public each year.

The charity currently operates three emergency helicopters covering the largest air ambulance region in the UK of 5,500 square miles serving a population in excess of 5.5 million people and covering Birmingham and the wider West Midlands, Staffordshire, Gloucestershire, Worcestershire, Herefordshire and Shropshire

Midlands Air Ambulance Ambassador and former England Rugby Captain Mike Tindall MBE who currently rides a Harley Davidson Soft Tail Break Out said:

“Road traffic accidents account for almost half of the Midlands Air Ambulance missions each year, many of those involving serious motorcycle related injuries which are life threatening and critical often involving head and spinal trauma. On a motorbike you are far more vulnerable than car drivers which of course greatly increases the risks of serious injury. As a biker I am delighted to support the Midlands Air Ambulance Charity and the Bike4Life event, it’s important for the biking community to come together and support such a great cause. Please join the Bike4Life event and sign up today.”

To register and join the Bike4Life 2015 Ride Out please visit www.bike4lifefest.com. The event costs £5 to register with all proceeds raised going to the Midlands Air Ambulance Charity. With arena displays, stalls and exhibitions, biker tutorials, live music from Planet Rock, a spitfire flypast and chance to meet Carl Fogarty, the atmosphere at the event will be electric.