The Wokingham Paper

READING TOY RUN: Bikers gift 6,000 toys to Barnardo’s

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THERE was plenty of noise and thousands of toys as the Reading Toy Run roared through the streets of Wokingham.

The popular annual event was cancelled last year due to snow and ice, but this year riders were bathed in sunshine.

More than 1,500 bikes and trikes were cheered on by an estimated 10,000 people who lined the pavements along the route.

Many riders worse Santa suits while others dressed as Christmas trees, reindeers and even snowmen.

Everyone who took part was asked to bring at least one toy which is donated to Barnardo’s and other local children’s charities.

However, most brought several which were collected at the end point of the ride – High Close School in Wokingham.

Organiser Ben Spiller said around 6,000 toys were handed in and they will all be distributed for Christmas.

“It was great to see so many bikers turn out especially after last year’s run was cancelled due to the bad weather which made road conditions too dangerous,” he explained.

“In all, 1,527 bikes came and with 447 passengers, that means we were just short of 2,000 people riding through Wokingham. The crowds were fantastic.

“I’ve never seen it so busy and I want to thank everyone who came out in support.

“I’d also like to thank motorists who were very patient and understanding about road closures.”

The Reading Toy Run is organised by  the Reading Christian Bikers, and this year marked the 33rd run which started with just a few dozen enthusiasts.

The event sees bikers travel from all over the country and even Europe.

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