Bikers rev up for charity
Motorcyclists rolled up their sleeves and put on their best to help the needy in two charity events on Sept 30
They came in force - for charity work.
On Sept 30, about 800 riders traded their everyday riding attire to help in two charitable causes - the Chong Aik International Wheels of Love (WOL) 2018 and the international Distinguished Gentleman's Ride (DGR) 2018.
For WOL, 25 households across three blocks in Eunos Crescent got a spring cleaning and new coats of paint to brighten their rental flats.
It began with a small team of volunteers knocking on doors to check on who needed their help, said Mr Steven Teh from Chong Aik International. The Geylang Serai Community Club was also involved.
Mr Teh added: "Our sponsors forked out about $15,000 for the necessary equipment, paint, brushes and so on.
"We had no problems getting riders to do the hard and dirty work."
One tenant, Madam Rubiah Abdul Hamid, 80, was overwhelmed when a crew of six bikers started work immediately after introducing themselves to her.
Madam Rubiah, who lives on the 14th storey of Block 2 with her grandson, was moved to tears as her living room walls were being painted.
She told The New Paper: "I'm crying because I'm happy. I'm just glad there are people who think about people like me."
The needs of the poor in the estate are not forgotten, said Marine Parade GRC MP Fatimah Lateef.
Together with the bikers, she rolled up her sleeves and got to work adding new colour to the units' living room and kitchen walls.
She told TNP: "We have a database for beneficiaries and we roughly know who needs assistance. Some are very thankful because nobody has cleaned their homes in a very long time."
After three hours, Mr Raman Shahal and his team said they were proud of their handiwork.
Mr Raman, 49, director-partner of a shipping services company, said: "We saw the happiness in (Madam Rubiah's) eyes, having people to engage her, which was a missing element in her daily life."
The sense of camaraderie was not missing at the DGR, which started at Wheeler's Estate in Seletar.
About 400 riders in their best attire like tailored suits, ties and vests showed up to support the international cause, which strives to raise awareness of men's health and prostate cancer.
In the scorching heat, attendees did the customary shoot at an outdoor ride-in booth.
The ride, supported locally by Mah Pte Ltd, saw riders on vintage and new motorcycles - like the rest of the 120,000 participants in over 650 cities across the globe.
Mah spokesman Eugene Mah told TNP: "DGR continues to be one of the biggest events on the calendar for Singapore's motorcycling community - and one that we always look forward to participating in and supporting each year. It is uplifting to see bikers from all walks of life come together as one for a good cause... it proves once again that we are a community built on passion."
The crowd went wild when Singapore-based US TV host, actor and biker Bobby Tonelli announced that worldwide, DGR had raised more than US$5 million (S$6.9 million) for the year.
The 42-year-old told TNP the biking community was "becoming quite prominent here", a view shared by Mr Gary Eng, a marketing executive for Harley-Davidson Singapore, who rallied the volunteers and marshals.
This year's ride started in the North and stopped at Dempsey Hill as a half-way point, before ending at Wheeler's Yard in Lorong Ampas.
The convoy of bikes consisted of Vespas, Harleys, Triumphs, vintage Japanese two-strokes, BMWs and dirtbikes.
Said Mr Eng: "DGR 2018 has done it again. The global fundraising target was met at US$5 million and counting, with Singapore's ride contributing US$12,000.".