DRIVING SEAT: Motorcycling: Now It's Time for Bikers to Have Their Own Charity

Article excerpt

Byline: WILLIAM LEECE

CANNY charities know that the best people to turn for a spot of fundraising can be the biking community.

Even the hairiest and scariest of bikers can be relied on to dip into their pockets and give generously to good causes - particularly if there's the prospect of a good day's riding on the cards as well.

Look at the thousands who turn up each year for the Wirral Egg Run to help children's charities. Or,more modestly, the dozens who've turned out regularly to Clwb Beic Modur Eryri's runs in the best parts of Wales in aid of local charities.

Next month hundreds - including myself - will be taking to the roads overnight in the BMF/ACU National Rally, with the mental disability charity Mencap one of the main beneficiaries.

But bikers can be a bit backward in coming forward to help themselves. Who helps them?

Now the BMF,one of the principal biking lobby groups, is setting up its own charity fund to do exactly that.

It has set up the BMF Foundation, which cover the advancement of education into road safety; the design, development and maintenance of roads; motorcycle design safety; the design of protective clothing; the causes and prevention of road accidents involving motorcyclists; the treatment of injuries typically suffered in such accidents; the reduction of crime involving motorcycles,especially motorcycle theft; the protection of the environment; and the sociological aspects of motorcycle use and transportation generally.

These will be addressed mainly through making grants to organisations such as academic institutions to carry out research, a recent example being that made by a government funded organisation who asked if the BMF could support the production of guidelines for road designers. Where injuries are concerned, particular those to the head and spine, support of these victims is a matter with which the BMF has been involved and the Foundation, through its charitable status,could now support them still further. …