GALLERY: Record number of bikers ride into Lismore
BIKIES, or "bikers”, as the law-abiding citizens would prefer to be called, showed up in record numbers on Sunday for the annual Christmas toy run.
Over 330 sports and classic motorbike riders gathered for breakfast at Seagulls Field, Ballina, before riding to Lismore Park for a community raffle.
Riders donated hundreds more soft toys to Our Kids, who will distribute the gifts to children being treated at hospitals around Northern Rivers.
Northern Rivers Branch of the Ulysses Club Inc organised the big day, said president Ron Gaudron.
"The first one we organised was in the 80s and only a dozen bikes turned up,” he said.
"Since, it's gotten bigger and bigger.”
Our Kids fundraising coordinator Rebekka Battista said toys will be given to children in the paediatric and special care nurseries.
"Some kids spend a long time in hospital, and been Christmas, it's a good time to make them feel loved and supported by the community and to add some sparkle to their day.”
Northern Rivers Chapter of the Harley Owners Group treasurer Matty Denehy said a police escort launched the ride.
"They obviously know we're doing it for the right reasons,” he said.
"The toys are going to some good kids.”
Mr Denehy said the ride at NSW on Sunday was a welcomed experience, compared to riding in Qld, where new laws discourage riders from wearing patches and colours.
"We're obviously not doing anything illegal,” he said.
"The new laws stop the 1% of bikers who break the law, when we're the other 99% of bikers who need move around (from NSW to Qld).”