Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service is supporting the Bike4Life campaign with firefighters joining the convoy of thousands of motorbikes as it weaves its way through the county on Sunday, April 22.
The annual event is the largest motorcycle gathering in the country which raises funds for the Air Ambulance when an estimated 12,000 riders will take part in a 23 mile ride from Shrewsbury to RAF Cosford via the M54 in Telford.
Shrewsbury fire station’s Watch Manager Paul Gray and Crew Manager Rich Meadows, both experienced motorcyclists, will be with the convoy on its route.
They are part of the Prevention team from Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service who will be at RAF Cosford on board the brigade’s Outreach vehicle to put out important road safety advice to festival goers.
“Both of us have around 20 years biking experience each and we are passionate about motorbike riding,” said Rich, who will be riding a motorbike and wearing motorcycle clothing from Honda Shrewsbury, which has also donated a demo motorbike for the Fire service display.
“Motorcyclists are always the ones who come off worse in a collision. As a motorcyclist you have to be so aware of the road conditions and your surroundings.
“The Bike4Life event gives us the opportunity to talk to other bikers, interact with them, and get over some very important safety messages.”
Former England rugby captain Mike Tindall MBE will officially lead the convoy with former World Superbike champion Carl Fogarty and former British Superbike champion and Moto GP presenter Steve Parrish.
Mike Tindall, husband of the Princess Royal’s daughter Zara, rides a Harley Davidson and has been an ambassador of the Midlands Air Ambulance Charity for the past five years.
James Bainbridge, Station Officer for Prevention at Shrewsbury fire HQ, said that injuries to motorcyclists were “totally out of proportion” to the numbers of road users.“Almost a fifth of people killed on our roads are motorcyclists yet they only make up just one per cent of all the traffic on our roads. They are 38 times more likely to die in a collision compared with occupants in a car. We will be doing our utmost to get the important messages out to them to keep them safe.
“As firefighters we deal with the aftermath of a fatal road collision and we aim to do as much as we can to reduce those road deaths.”
He thanked Honda Shrewsbury for their partnership support which also included a motorcycle helmet which will be raffled for the charity.