Dubai: Only a few bikers in the world sport two special patches on their leather jackets: The “Full Throttle” patch and the “Saddle Sore” patch. These two patches are given under very strict auditing rules by two separate certification agencies: Long Distance Riders and Iron Butt Association. To earn them — and the respect of fellow motorcyclists — bikers have to ride 1,610km in 24 hours.
On Friday last, 91 motorcyclists, who are part of the largest group of motorcyclists in the Middle East, tackled this challenge, covering 1,610km in 24 hours within the UAE.
The planning and build-up to the ride started several months before, under the leadership of Vicky M. an Indian expat who has been living in Dubai for more than 20 years. Besides roping his close buddies, he also had on board members from several biking clubs and independent riders from all over the region, including Saudi Arabia and Oman.
Vicky M. said, “I designed this event as a celebration of diversity and as charity to show tolerance. People from over 15 nationalities participated in the motorcycle endurance event — the largest motorcycle endurance event in the Middle East. It taught us about diversity, tolerance and team effort. One of the special, memorable moments at the end of the endurance ride was when the bikers began congratulating each other using fellow bikers’ languages.”
He said the ride was not about a bunch of ‘bad boys’ riding their ‘mean machines’ for many miles; it was a celebration of diversity and an event to honour the UAE’s “Year of Tolerance”.
In true biking tradition, the group also decided to contribute to a good cause. The bikers made donations, which will be channelled through an official charity for buying water coolers for labour camps.