THOUSANDS of motorcyclists are preparing to show their support for the Armed Forces in a Ride of Respect.
Bikers from across the county will recognise veterans and serving troops with the roar of motorbike engines tomorrow in a 24-mile route organised by the Royal British Legion’s Riders Branch.
In 2011, repatriation ceremonies switched from Wootton Bassett in Wiltshire to Carterton near RAF Brize Norton and last year’s respect ride which ended at the Memorial Garden saw 2,500 bikers take to the streets.
And after Kelly Neatham, a mother-of-four from Bampton, rode on the back of her husband Jeremy’s bike in 2013, she felt compelled to get her bike licence in time for tomorrow’s ride.
The 33 year-old passed her test on her Honda NSR125R a week ago and will take to the streets of Carterton to salute the armed forces. Her 10-year-old son Dylan will ride with his father and the family hope the ride will boost awareness of the work the armed forces do at home and overseas.
Mrs Neatham said: “It is really to show you honour the forces and what they’ve been through and show you respect those that have lost their lives.
“I only passed my test a week ago in Swindon. I thought last year that I’m going to try to do it. It was the atmosphere of the event that spurred me to get the licence.”
Last year's Ride of Respect goes through Carterton
The mother to Dylan, Jesse, eight, Ariah, two and Paisley, one, hopes the ride will encourage children to respect the forces.
She added: “It teaches children you can show respect without having to stand in silence.”
Motorcyclists will head off at 9am from Dalton Barracks to Church Lane, Cothill, then to the B4017 at Lamborough Hill.
They will then head through Cumnor to the B4017 Cumnor Road to Farmoor.
The route will continue along the B4044 Eynsham Road at Farmoor and then via Stanton Harcourt to the A415 near Hardwick to Brighthampton through Cote and Aston to the A4095 at Bampton to Station Road, Brize Norton to the Memorial Garden at Norton Way, arriving around noon.
Marshalls will be on hand along the route and some diversions will be in place in Carterton.
The event then moves to the playing field off Alvescot Road where there will be concerts from Rorke’s Drift, a rock covers band who will take to the stage at 1pm.
Chairman of the Royal British Legion Riders’ Branch Mark Smith said: “The event keeps people informed of the work the Legion does and the sums that are spent on welfare.”
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