A growling mass of 76 motorbikes roared into Parkes on Saturday for the fourth annual Big Ride 4 Parkinson’s charity event. Eight bike riders from Parkes rode to Sydney last Friday in order to join the 360km ride from Sydney to Parkes the following day.
Iconic Australian rocker and former Rose Tattoo front man, Angry Anderson took part in the ride for the fourth time. This year session musician Randall Waller also participated in the ride and joined Angry on stage on Saturday night at the Cambridge and Commerical Hotels. “We had brilliant local support,” said Mark Atherton, initiator and organiser of the ride; “About $7,000 had been raised through registration fees for the bikers, as well as an auction and raffle.”
Claire Tester of Parkinson’s NSW said the money would go towards free services offered to members. She was impressed that riders had come from all over NSW to take part in the event. There was even interest from riders in Queensland! For Mark it has all come together nicely this year after some teething problems previously. “We are getting some very good reviews” he said. With a return of 60% of riders to the event every year, Mark expects it to only grow bigger.
As a keen motorcycle rider, Mark was searching for a ride to do for charity and liked the sound of Parkes and Parkinson’s. That was how the idea for the Big Ride was born. Sadly, his father was diagnosed with Parkinson’s three months after the first event, spurring his motivation to make this an even bigger, annual event. He was very happy when he convinced his good friend, Angry Anderson to become part of the ride and provide entertainment at the end.
By Maggi Barnard