FOR the first time, the annual Perth Bikers Charity Ride from Belmont to Joondalup will take place on a Sunday morning.
The roar of up to 6000 motorbikes, trikes and sidecars travelling in procession this Sunday will also occur earlier than normal, with the ride’s start time brought forward to 9am to allow for required road closures.
But the good cause behind the successful event, which is in its 41st year, remains the same.
Each bike will be carrying a donated children’s toy or present that the Salvation Army will distribute at Christmas.
Leading this year’s charge will be the event’s longest serving rider ‘Bandit’, who for the past two years has travelled from Sydney just to take part.
“I’ve been doing this for about 26 years now and I always say, come this time of year, my wife’s a widow as I’m so busy doing stuff for the charity ride,” he said.
Bandit, whose real name is Colin Scott, got his nickname after losing an arm when a trailer jack-knifed into his motorbike in 1984.
“I’m not a dangerous Bandit, I’m the one-armed Bandit,” he laughed.
Riders and the public are asked to donate toys, blankets and long-lasting food items for the ride.
“The charity ride began as a way to raise awareness about motorcycle riders but now most of us do it because it makes us feel good about doing something for other people,” Bandit said.
“People say it’s pretty special that I’d keep making the trip from Sydney but I know that any one of us would do the same.”
Salvation Army spokesman Warren Palmer said the organisation could not do without the valuable contribution made by the bikers each year.
“It takes about three or four days to sort through all the presents,” he said.
“They start us off for the December season with a good supply for our busiest time of year.”
Mr Palmer said the Salvation Army’s Northbridge centre expected about 3500 to 4000 people in need of toys and goods around Christmas.