An S.O.S response for Edgecumbe

Tauranga Weekend Riders founder Tony Ngawhika with his fellow motorcycle enthusiasts. Photo: Tracy Hardy.

If you see hundreds of motorcycle riders cruising towards Edgecumbe this Sunday, make sure to give them a toot or a wave.

They’ll be part of the S.O.S Edgecumbe Charity Ride, organised by local motorcycle club Tauranga Weekend Riders.

Their goal: to raise money for those still dealing with the fallout from last month’s flood, including those still cleaning up their homes, and those who need a place to stay.

Tauranga Weekend Riders founder Tony Ngawhika says he and his partner were in Edgecumbe a few weeks ago helping with the clean-up, when he had an ‘epiphany’.

“I thought: let’s do something for the people of Edgecumbe. My aunty over there was okay because she had insurance, but all of her friends around her didn’t. So I thought it would be good to show a bit of kindness and help those people out.”

The result is Sunday’s charity ride, which was originally expected to attract around 200 riders. Tony says there’ll probably be closer to 400 now.

“It’s been pretty amazing. Honestly, I’m getting random people giving us money and donating stuff as well.”

Tony moved to ‘this beautiful town’ three years ago, and founded Tauranga Weekend Riders, which now has 97 members.

He stresses they’re not the stereotypical ‘bikies’ people sometimes imagine.

“We don’t wear patches, we’re not gangs. We’re just normal people who care about the community.”

Registration for the ride is from 9-11am Sunday, May 28, for $10 per rider. The ride itself starts at 11am from Club Mount Maunganui, 45 Kawaka St, and ends at Edgecumbe Memorial Hall at 1.30pm.

Riders will reconvene at the Mount Mellick bar in Mount Maunganui from 4pm. For more information and to register email tonyngawhika86@gmail.com


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