A symbolic procession of 5986 motorbikes took to the M60 around Stockport on Remembrance Sunday to create a Ring of Red, with bikers paying their respects to the Armed Forces both past and present.
Ring of Red M60 chose Greater Manchester veterans’ charity, Veterans into Logistics as their charity of the year, with donations and merchandise sales going towards training and mentoring veterans into new careers as HGV drivers.
Veterans into Logistics Founder, Darren Wright led the ride out in a truck dedicated to his friend and former soldier Jamie Doyle, who served 22 years in the Royal Artillery but was tragically found dead at home, being unable to cope less than 12 months after leaving the British Army.
Jamie’s mum, Jayne, and daughter Ellie sat with Darren in the truck, keeping Jamie’s memory alive.
The weather was perfect, and bikers wore red to create a poignant visual display, emulating a poppy, as they respectfully joined the M60. It took an hour and 17 minutes for marshals to stagger all the bikes off the forecourt and the camaraderie was on point throughout the day. The Last Post played as the bikers took to the motorway on gleaming bikes adorned with flags and poppies, followed by military vehicles.
The roar of the bikes was immense and the cacophony of engines revving and horns honking was spectacular as crowds congregated on the motorway bridges to wave and cheer on the thousands and thousands of bikers.
Veterans into Logistics Founder, Darren Wright said: “It was deeply moving and very special to lead the Ring of Red M60 Ride of Respect. It meant a lot for me to show Jayne and Ellie the love and appreciation felt for veterans and all those who have fallen, including Jamie.
“It was overwhelming to be part of and I would like to thank organiser Netty Kiely and her team for choosing Veterans into Logistics as their charity of the year.
“Our mission is to reduce poverty and homelessness for veterans and the vulnerable by training and supporting them into new careers as HGV drivers. We know they still have so much to offer future employers after leaving the military and we upskill them and help them find secure and sustainable employment.”
Veterans into Logistics Trustee and biker, Heidi Chapman, who rides a Triumph Tiger 900 Rally Pro, said: “It was an honour to ride behind Darren Wright and the Veterans into Logistics truck, named in the memory of Jamie Doyle.
“It was a truly special day to lead over 5800 bikers around the M60, symbolising all that the poppy and Remembrance Day stand for.”
Ring of Red M60 event organiser, Netty Kiely said: “Thank you to everyone who took part in this year’s Ring of Red Remembrance Ride and showing their respect. It’s been our pleasure to support Veterans into Logistics this year.
“I couldn’t have done this without my committee, volunteers and all the staff at Moto Birch Services.
“It was overwhelming to see so many, at one point queuing past junction 19 trying to get into the services. We had them waiting in the carpark side due to running out of lanes, then when the first five lanes left, we filled them again!
“It was incredible to have our highest turn out yet – with 5986 bikes! Roll on next year!”
Netty and her team now have a well-earned two weeks off before planning and preparation starts for next year’s Ride of Respect which will be the ten-year anniversary.
With numbers increasing year on year, if anyone can make 2023’s event even more incredible, then Netty can!
For more information on Veterans into Logistics, visit: www.veteransintologistics.org.uk