HUNDREDS of motorbikes covered in tinsel and Christmas decorations converged on Mandurah on December 14 as part of the annual Motorcycle Charity Ride.
About 600 motorcyclists, many of whom were part of the Christian Motorcyclists Association, took part in the ride from the Ravenswood Hotel to the Mandurah town centre, in front of hundreds of eager spectators.
The riders carried food, cash donations and toys to be distributed to those in need. It was the 22nd year the ride has taken place.
Chairman of CMA Colin Kleinig said the group’s involvement in the ride was a good chance for all members to come together in support of a good cause.
He said the event provided an opportunity for the public to understand the CMA better.
“We have never had anything other than positive feedback from our involvement in these sort of events and activities,” he said.
“There are many motorcyclists involved in charity events now and the public, especially the kids, always love to see the bikes and talk to the riders.”
Mr Kleinig said only a small number of motorbike riders subscribe to the stereotypical idea of a bikie.
“We do not call ourselves or consider ourselves to be “bikies” as this has the negative connotation of association with the one per cent groups or outlaw motorcycle gangs as the police like to call them,” he said.
Mr Kleinig said CMA riders were different to the small minority of riders who operate outside of the law.
“We welcome anyone who would like to ride in a safe environment to ride with us on any of our rides,” he said.
The CMA sees its ministry as taking the Gospel to all the world, but primarily to “those people who are sometimes on the fringes of society because they ride motorbikes”, Mr Kleinig explained.
In 1979, a number of individual riders and members of two Christian motorcycle clubs joined forces, establishing CMA. Branches of the Association are present in every State of Australia, and there are several international CMAs.