Hundreds of bikers 'ride out' across Devon to say thank you to NHS workers

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Hundreds of bikers rode across Devon on Sunday to raise money and show their appreciation for frontline health workers.

The 'NHS Ride of Thanks' started out as just a simple idea between two friends - and has grown into a huge success.

Co-organiser Andy Ash said the plan was inspired by the hard work of all health staff throughout the pandemic.

"There was the standing on the doorstep and clapping, which was great," he said.

Hundreds of bikers took part in the event. Credit: ITV News

"I think motorbikes are a bit louder, that's the way we do things.

"Initially we had no intention of raising money. Then somebody said 'Why don't we charge a nominal amount and give it to the NHS?'"

Andy shared the idea on Facebook and it took off across the country.

"Everybody got involved, they all wanted to come, but they couldn't get to one big central meeting," he said.

The bikers made it to the Paignton seafront on Sunday afternoon. Credit: Mark Hart

"So I decided if everybody had a regional meeting, then everybody could attend if they wanted to."

The Plymouth to Paignton ride, which set off at 11am from the Lee Mill Industrial Estate, raised money for the Devon Freewheelers, a group of volunteers who transport emergency blood and medical supplies to the NHS.

Co-organiser Mark Hart said: "There's no better way of saying thank you than a biker community getting together and raising money."

Co-organiser Mark Hart said around 700 bikers were expected. Credit: ITV News