Ride of Remembrance and Harley fun!

As promised! The story of the bike ride!

When I was approached with regard to being involved in the 100th Anniversary of the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal back in August, I jumped at the opportunity. The organiser, Kevin Murray, asked if St Paul’s could be the starting point for 100 motorbikes, each of which would carry a street Poppy bearing the name of a fallen soldier on a half hour Ride of remembrance I said that it would be an honour and also asked whether I could take part. ‘Do you have a bike?’ I was asked. ‘No, but I know a man who does’, was my answer. I quickly contacted my friend Chris Basford, who said he’d be delighted. He also promised to equip me with kit. What a gent! However, as the day drew near it became apparent that Chris was not going to be able to make it. I was a Rev without the means to rev! I had the kit, but no bike, no rider! But bless Chris and Kevin, a message was put out to all riders and in stepped Neil (pictured with me above). I met Neil minutes before getting on his bike. Kevin introduced me to this serious looking biker, dressed in his leathers, tattoos on show (I know, I can’t say anything about tattoos) beard in bands. He did look a bit scary and I wondered what I was about to experience! He then identified the bike we were riding – a Harley Davidson!  Within a few minutes of discovering this I was astride the bike being interviewed by the BBC. If that sounds as if it was easy to jump on the bike – I can tell you that it wasn’t! I’ve only got short legs!

Eventually it was time for us to set off on our ride. I explained to Neil that he needed to treat me as a novice. It had been decades since I’d been on the back of a bike. I really needn’t have worried. Neil Brown is one of the kindest men who looked after me wonderfully. There were hairy moments – going over the top of the hill at the Windsor Castle and then the sharp left and then ride hand bends, but they were only hairy in my imagination.
I loved every minute of my Harley ride and I felt so very privileged to be on a bike bearing the name of someone who had made the ultimate sacrifice for all our sakes. The poppies were carefully removed from the bikes and placed on a Wall of Remembrance. We were each given a commemorative badge in return.
As I stated, this was a tremendous privilege for me and of course, as many of you know, the fulfilment of a personal ambition. I also feel extremely blessed to have met Neil, his wife and his son (who incidentally also rode his bike in the event) in the process.

One thought on “Ride of Remembrance and Harley fun!

  1. Chris Basford says:

    Awww Thanks Lynn! I’ll make sure we get out on the bike next summer!
    I’m so happy that you had a great time.. and what an occasion! Well done to all who participated

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