Sunday, 8 May 2016

Held up by the Love Ride procession

As we were making our way back from a perfect Mother's Day morning at Pfäffikon Am See, we were forced to stop for the biggest procession of bikers I have ever seen. I mean, we are talking hundreds of bikes, which took nearly 10 minutes for them all to pass, accompanied by police escorts. The girls were very excited as all these big burly bikers revved their engines and waved at them as they went by. It was amazing.

I later found out it is all part of a Love Ride event which began in early 1993 when bikers Erwin W. Wyrsch and Gabi Müller in Bänikon / Kloten were looking to have a Harley Davidson meet up but were aware of the perhaps negative impression that would be caused for locals by a big crowd of bikers gathering together in a particular location. The solution was to have a festival which would not only be attractive for motorcyclists but one that would endear non-bikers with a good cause and perhaps a raffle with super prizes.

They thought it would be good to follow in the wake of the US Love Ride movement which raises money with a big annual bike ride supporting the Muscular Dystrophy Association, of which Harley Davidson is the official sponsor.

This is now the 24th year for Love Ride Switzerland, which takes place each year on the first Sunday of May. This year, hundreds of bikers were making their way to the airfield at Dubendorf, which is why we passed many on our way back from Pfäffikon, then again passing through Oberwil next to our village. I think most of them were heading to the event (which began at 8am!) for the 2pm stunt show, and certainly for the 3pm big raffle that has in the past included a prize of a flight to the US and hire of a bike to partake in the LoveRide event there! There are plenty of rock gigs but also stuff for the children with an on-site circus.

I can imagine the atmosphere is very special and would love to go along next year.

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