The crew of the Cumbria Air Ambulance were on a climbing holiday in Scotland. Dr Rupert Bennett fell to his death. Pilot Jim Martin was seriously injured and paramedic Jon Kerr also received serious hand injuries.
As a result of that particular incident I thought I should organise a money raising venture and obviously being a keen motorcyclist it should involve riding motorcycles.
Why money for the air ambulance? A lot of people are not aware that the operation of the air ambulance is totally reliant on donations from the public and it does not receive any funding from the government. Why I don’t know, but we are not here to get involved in politics.
Looking at the set up of the Great North Air Ambulance, the area that it covers is roughly 500 miles to go round, so hence the name The Boundary 500.
Next problem how do we ensure riders complete it. We needed areas large enough to take a decent amount of motorcycles, toilets and refreshments plus people to sign riders in.
Had a bit of a senior moment and found that in towns around the route were Morrison’s stores. They had all the requirements and after a lot of phone calls they agreed to us using the premises and would stamp riders cards.
On Saturday 24th June 2006 all the planning came to fruition and the first Boundary 500 Challenge took place.
The Boundary 500 Challenge has now become an annual event and further details can be found by clicking onto the ‘Challenge’ Link.
In 2007 an additional event called The Boundary Classic was added. This involves a 125-mile ride around the Yorkshire Dales and whilst predominantly aimed at Classic Motorcycles all makes and years are welcome.
There are a lot of modern machinery riders who for one reason or another do not want to ride the 500 miles of the Challenge but still want to raise money for the Great North Air Ambulance Service.
The Classic is an enjoyable ride-out with frequent stops. In 2012 the Classic will be based around the North Yorkshire Moors. For further details please click onto the Classic Link.
In 2008 saw the first Boundary Marathon. This involves a 2800-mile ride around the coasts of England, Scotland and Wales. For further details please click onto the Marathon button.
New for 2009 was the Boundary International which will see riders travelling 3000 miles through five countries on the continent. For further details click onto the International button.
New for 2010 was the Boundary European Coastal Challenge which will see riders riding around the coastline of Europe covering approximately 8000 miles. The start and finish point is Calais.
The Boundary 500 Motorcycle Group have established themselves as a very respected motorcycling body and have received tremendous support from not only people living in the North East of England but from all over the UK.
The Great North Air Ambulance needs our support and money, enter the event, you might need their services one day.