Monday, November 25, 2013

Charity work with a roar in Cape Town

It was that of year again where 65-100 000 bikers (I wonder who counted them, but according to news sources) across South Africa participated in the annual Toy Run. This is a charity event happening across the globe where toys are collected and brought to a central drop-off point by bikers. These toys go to underprivileged children.

The event usually takes place on the last Sunday in November, and this year was no exception. The only difference this year was a change in the start-off point again. I guess each year the organizers look for a better place to start because managing a couple of thousand bikes who all wants to leave first can be challenging. There are two departure points in Cape Town leaving approximately at the same time and then meeting up somewhere on the N2 and finally dropping the toys in Wynberg at Maynardville. This year the one start point was at Ottery and the second one at Grand West Casino. 

When I picked up my pillion at 9:15 am, I thought it might be early for the 10:30 start. When we arrived at Grand West Casino it was clear that many people had earlier aspirations and was ready lined up for the start. This gave us time to have a quick coffee (and breakfast for my pillion) inside the casino complex which was thankfully air-conditioned. Outside the temperature was already reaching the upper 20's and while on the road I spotted that we were in the low thirties already. A perfect day for the beach I thought, not so perfect for black biking gear, but the cause was one of goodwill and a slight breeze with smiling faces on the side of the road helped us through. We had toys to deliver and come hell or high water, we were going to complete our mission.

The toys get dropped at Maynardville where the venue is set up with a large truck collecting the toys and also some other entertainment and stalls. Admission to the premises is just presenting a toy, any toy, you don't even need a bike or a helmet. There are numerous stalls where one can see the latest bikes and gadgets, but none so interesting as the variety of bikes you see at such a gathering. It makes my "orange mean freedom machine" looks pretty bleak. Some people really spend a lot of time and money on their bikes and I always get this urge to start decorating my bike as well. I'm not talking about the toys some hang on their bikes for the day's event, I'm talking about paint jobs and gadgets.

It is amazing how many bikers turn up for this event. I am pretty sure that if more events are organized where bikes are involved, we can even raise money for not-so-needy as well.  What I do suspect thought is that many kids believe that Santa rides a bike in South Africa and NOT a sleigh as believed by many kids across the globe. Looking at the weather yesterday his sleigh would not gotten anywhere in any case.....

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