Fotos/Autor: Vincent Arzenton
Bikers, as the cliché goes, are usually tough guys with a certain aura that demands respect. But beneath many a hard shell slumbers a soft core – and in this case, above all, a big heart. On Sunday, the charity event “Love Ride Switzerland” attracted about 10,000 people from the motorcycle scene with about 7,000 machines to Dübendorf near Zurich.
In fact, the Dübendorf airfield presents a rather unusual sight when the gates are opened as early as 08:00 in the morning for the traditional benefits event. Countless motorcycles, mopeds and other 2- and 4-wheeled vehicles gradually move onto the spacious grounds. The whole day is dedicated to supporting people who are enormously restricted in their daily lives by a muscle disease or other physical disability.
But that’s not all: in 2022, the annual event will also celebrate its 30th birthday, because the Love Ride Switzerland can actually look back on a history since 1993. So after two cancellations due to government bans in the wake of the pandemic, Swiss motorsport enthusiasts are finally allowed to drive up again and Europe’s largest biker benefit event can present itself bigger than ever.
However, these years of routine are also clearly noticeable in the efficient and prudent organization. Despite the large number of visitors and an extra-large number of different attractions, the program has been implemented with confidence. The visitors also behaved in the spirit of the good cause, so that a friendly and inclusive atmosphere prevailed on the entire site. Children up to 16 years of age, as well as handicapped persons and their companions, are admitted free of charge.
Even if the weather, in contrast, only “half-heartedly” cooperates, this does not keep the visitors from enjoying the diverse range of attractions. The actual Love Ride, a 60km long shared ride through the Zurich Unterland and Oberland, offers disabled people in particular the chance to taste the freedom of the road as a passenger in a team. This tour, but also a prize crowning of the best machine among the visitors are program points, which one would expect from a biker meeting so. But to ensure that there is something for young and old, there are also bouncy castles and a children’s circus, various suppliers of motorcycles and accessories, a genuine air show, of course, stands for a snack or a cool refreshment, a motorcross show with daredevil stunts on the ramp and, last but not least, a lot of live music.
While well-known artists such as Marc Storace (The Voice of Krokus) and Marc Lynn (The Bass of Gotthard) have formed under the name “Passion Fire” especially for the Love Ride, other acts such as Tommy Romero complement the rock mainstream music on site. “Passion Fire” has also contributed the event anthem “Love moves”, which is intended to capture the spirit of the event. Philipp Fankhauser adds to these ranks as a good counterbalance with a more sedate sound, creating a welcome counterweight to the rock ‘n roll.
With donations still being counted, it has already been announced that the 300,000 franc mark has been reached. At times, the merchandise range of the Love Ride was even completely sold out.
So in Dübendorf, the bikers once again impressively show how much they can move with united power. Since it will be just under a year until the next Love Ride, you don’t have to wait until May 2023 to do the good deed, but can donate to the organization all year round. All relevant information can be found on the website at www.loveride.ch
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