Help wanted - Ride of Respect 16 June 2013

Now that repatriations no longer go through Wootton Bassett the Ride of Respect has relocated to Oxfordshire. Some of you may well be aware that the Ride of Respect 2013 is to take place on Fathers’ Day in mid June. The beneficiary, the Royal British Legion, asked a friend of mine to write a traffic management plan for this one (He must have got something right in the plans for the last two Royal Wootton Bassett rides), and I’m pleased to say that the Thames Valley Police have agreed to provide a more than adequate rider resource to top and tail each convoy (+ other duties), a Silver Commander has been appointed, and the cost of this provision has been signed off by those holding the purse-strings.

Oxfordshire County Council has also agreed to support the event, willingly granting road-closure orders where needed (and waiving the cost!) so it’s all systems go! The route is from Dalton Barracks, formerly RAF Abingdon, to a dispersal point on the A40, north of Brize Norton, and I hope that many of you will attend, either as individuals, or groups perhaps - the RBL website does take block bookings.

The Unity Support Rider Group has assisted Wiltshire Constabulary, doing the on-route marshalling for all three Wootton Bassett rides, assisted the Met Bikesafe team with the 5000+ participant Unity rides in central London a few years ago, and Kent Constabulary with large rides out to RAF Manston on a few occasions, as well as numerous well-supported toy and easter-egg runs.

However the USR group has only 9 members confirmed as available for the Ride of Respect 2013, and as we anticipate having to shift 10,000 bikers the 24 miles from start to finish, in blocks of around 750, we and a Unity colleague are looking to recruit a few more - the more the merrier, but a minimum total of 30.

We are after riders with either an IAM advanced test pass, or a RoSPA test pass to at least silver standard. Volunteers should be entirely confident in their own riding ability, whether it be very slow riding, mixing it in close company with other riders, or making progress filtering past those riders where required. They should also be prepared to interact with the public, explaining why they’re being held up, and on occasions prepared to take a bit of stick without giving it back!

Size, type or engine capacity of your steed doesn’t matter, as long as it is more than capable of doing the national speed limit, where required.

The selected volunteers will be expected to undertake some additional training between now and the event, which will include a First Bike on Scene (known as FBoS) first aid course (worth doing anyway), organised and paid for by the Unity Foundation. Once trained, it would be just great if you’d make yourself available for some of the other events that the Unity Support Riders are asked to help with, such as Christmas Toy Runs in the capital at Christmas for example.

For more information please take a look at the facebook page and also the forum.

I am happy to give you more information too, feel free to contact me.

I’d be very keen to help if you decide to open this up to non-“advanced” riders.

I did start with IAM but gave up after six observed rides due to my desire to live.

Well done to all concerned in getting this off the ground btw, a really good and worthwhile event.