Remembrance Day or Poppy Day is observed on November 11th in Britain in memory of the people of the armed forces who lost their life in the line of duty during World War I. In the week in which the day falls, there is a motorcycle ride which takes on Sunday, labeled Remembrance Sunday. The day is also celebrated in most other Commonwealth countries, but very few countries celebrate it with as much fervour as Britain does. The day shares its memorial with Armistice Day.
The ride is dedicated to the armed forces and this unique event is called Ring of Red. The event is held on annual basis and it is open to riders all across Britain. The event has been held every year since 2013 and it is held as a part of the wider Ride of Respect initiative. The organisers share information about the event via their Facebook page and the Ride of Respect website.
Origins of the Ring of Red
Ring of Red is the brainchild of Julia Stevenson, who continues to be one of the event’s main organisers. The idea behind the ride is to create a humongous ring of red, symbolising the poppy, on the M25 highway. Julia’s idea was to create the world’s largest poppy in order to pay her respects to the armed forces, and this resulted in the first successful Ring of Red in 2013. One of the major goals of the event is to raise funds for the Royal British Legion.
The organisers sell a lot of merchandise such as shirts, badges, and bands, all in red obviously, in order to send the proceeds to the Royal British Legion. The initial event raised about 2,300 pounds and this figure has been steadily increasing on an annual basis.
All the riders are required to wear some form of red if they want to be a part of the event. Riders can either wear red clothes, a red helmet, or bring along a red bike. Numerous bikers have also specially got their bikes customised for the event.
Initially the event was only held at the M25, but it is now organised on the M60 as well. Thousands of bikers now take part in the event on an annual basis. There are several meeting points on the M25 and the M60 where bikers can join in on the ride. The event organisers normally request all participating bikers to be at their respective meeting points on the highway by 13:30 as is the case for the 2016 leg of the event.
In the last few years, organisers have also allowed people in cars to join the event if they do not possess a bike. The organisers split themselves up into four teams in order to coordinate the large event. They will have specific details of their roles on their back, so take care to follow them and listen to their instructions in order for the ride to proceed smoothly.
See full details here: Ride of respect