On your bike . . . North Otago Ulysses vice-president Leigh Fellows (left) and run co-ordinator Mark Senior are looking forward to raising money for St John and "hanging out with the guys". PHOTO: RUBY HEYWARD

The North Otago Ulysses motorcycle group is holding its annual fundraiser for St John New Zealand this weekend.

Leigh Fellows, who has been riding motorbikes since the 1970s and has served as vice-president of the North Otago group “since Adam was a cowboy”, said it was a great chance to give back to the community.

On Sunday, the Oamaru group, which also has members in Palmerston, Waimate, Omarama and Twizel, will complete a 100km ride raising funds for St John.

“It’s about thanking St John for being there for us,” Mr Fellows said.

Each rider pays an entry fee and has the option to buy a badge, with all proceeds going to St John.

“They get the lot.”

The North Otago group was one of the 29 Ulysses branches across New Zealand taking part in the fundraiser.

Last year, the event was cancelled because of Covid-19.

Mr Fellows said it was the first time in a long while it did not run the annual charity ride.

Each year, between 20 and 40 people entered.

This year’s turnout was dependent on the weather, and Mr Fellows hoped every member of the group would come along.

But riders did not have to be a part of the group to join in – they just needed a bike to ride on.

Riders were also encouraged to bring their partners, and Mr Fellows and runs co-ordinator Mark Senior would be doing that.

Mr Senior, who began riding as soon as he was old enough to get a license, bought a bike specially for riding with his wife, Teresa.

On the day, Mrs Senior would be riding on the back of her husband’s Can-Am Spyder.

Bikers would meet at the Eden St car park at 1pm and embark on the ride at 1.30pm.

There would be a lead rider and a first aid officer present.