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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.

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 Challenge is open to all ages of motorcycle and is an enjoyable ride-out with frequent stops.  The Classic Challenge is  based around the North Yorkshire Moors. 

In 2008 saw the first Boundary Marathon. This involved a 2800-mile ride around the coasts of England, Scotland and Wales. 

New for 2009 was the Boundary International which saw riders travelling 3000 miles through five countries on the continent. 

New for 2010 was the Boundary European Coastal Challenge which saw riders riding around the coastline of Europe covering approximately 8000 miles. The start and finish point is Calais.

The  events that were added to the list of Challenges were the TT Challenge and the Coast2Coast Challenge.

The TT Challenge required riders to travel to the Isle of Man the mecca of all things to do with motorcycles.

The Coast2Coast Challenge sees entrants travelling from either the east coast to the west coast or vica versa.

This event is open to pedal cyclists, motorcycles of no more than 125cc and motorcycles of unlimited cc provided they were registered before January 1960. Further details can be found on the Groups Face book page and normally takes place early July.

The Group have in the past provided rider training and ‘First on Scene First Aid Courses. This course dealt with scene management and was run in conjunction with Cleveland Fire Brigade.

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 success of the events that the Group ran to raise money for the Great North Air Ambulance Service proved extremely popular and that in itself created problems because to run such events it requires a tremendous commitment from people something which because of the numbers involved the Group could no longer be cope with the logistics.

To that end the Great North Air Ambulance Service now oversees the running of the 500 mile Challenge and the 125 mile Classic.

A link to the GNAAS web site for further information on these two events is at;

When the Boundary 500 Motorcycle Group was started back in June 2006 we had only raised money just for the Great North Air Ambulance Service but soon after we became aware of Zoe’s Baby Hospice which we now also support.

The event that we organise for Zoe’s Baby Hospice is the Boundary 500 Motorcycle Group Santa Ride which takes place every year either towards the end of November or early December. Details of how to enter appear on this web site or on the Group Face Book page. 

The Great North Air Ambulance and Zoe’s Baby Hospice need our support and money, enter the events and help us make a difference.

In June 2006 as a Group we had not raised one penny but now in March 2017 we have raised in excess of six hundred and thirteen thousand pounds. 

The Group continue to be involved in a number of events and another two that are growing in stature are;

1. The Senior Day Ride. This is where on Easter Sunday we deliver Easter eggs to the residents of care homes located in the Thornaby and ingleby Barwick area. Normally hand out about six hundred chocolate eggs’

2. The Group now sponsors a ‘Dementia Cafe’ which takes place in the library at Thornaby New Town Centre on the second Friday of every month. If the Friday falls on a Bank Holiday then the cafe holds their meeting the following month.


Brian Laverick.

xmas ride traffic report

Total Amount Raised

Since June 2006
we have raised


£ 676333

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Entries to Date

European Coastal: 0
International: 0
Lake Classic: 0
Marathon: 0
Extremities: 0
Gaelic: 0
Challenge: 0
TT Challenge 0
Classic: 0
Coast 2 Coast: 0
Christmas/JT: 200