Looking across to the snow capped alpine mountains seen from the back seat of a motorcycle

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Derian House Easter Egg Run 2014

It's become something of a tradition now, the bike club run to Derian house with Easter eggs and toys for the kids. After some shenanigans earlier this year I find I'm thankful that another member has picked up the baton left behind by a previous member who left the club amid confusion and a dark cloud. These things happen, they are sad but life goes on. The struggles of life for the children of Derian house make our club squabbles seem pointless and insignificant anyhow. 

All through this Easter weekend the weatherman has been telling me the Bank Holiday Monday is going to be something of a washout. Great. And yet as the gf and I stir from our pit the weather outside is...well...grey but dry. I'll be happy if it just stays dry today I reckon. We don't have any breakfast as we plan to have it at the pub where the bike club meets. Instead we focus on ensuring the handful of eggs and gifts we have are packed securely so they don't get broken rattling around in my top box. 

At the Rose and Crown, our bike club pub, the landlord and landlady have risen early for us and opened up at 1000. We're not due to Derian house until 1300 so there's no rush, it's nice to relax in the deserted pub. Outside the sun starts to shine, contrary to the doom laden weather reports. As the various members arrive the fun begins.

First off most of us have some breakfast. The gf murders a Full English while I delicately nibble on a sausage barm. Then various members take other member's motorcycles out for a brief test ride. Most agree SL's Street Triple is an impressive piece of kit, no-one asks for a ride on my CBF 125 though. The gf would love to test ride some of the bikes but she has 2 problems. First off, no licence except her provisional licence and secondly she can't reach the floor on the other machines. I can tell being small in this instance is a frustration, she seems happy with her Full English though.

Rather than hanging around in the pub too long we all kit up and ride off to Rivington, the local biker spot. It's still early when we arrive, 1130ish. There's a few bikers here as we park up in the now warm sunshine. After the cold trip to Wales this weekend it feels both strange and welcome to bask in the big yellow thing in the sky. We drink tea whilst DA goes around with the collecting can. She's no shame that woman.

a lady biker asks for donations among the bikers sitting around
DA mugs some unsuspecting victims while young AD entertains himself with a stick
2 bikers pull faces while one watches
Our club is preparing to enter the national gurning competion...these are the contestants.

Back on the road we take our time on the fairly short hop to Derian house. We pause a few hundred yards before we arrive, to allow the staff a moment to get a few of the kids out to see us arrive. Whilst we only number 13 bikes today we make our grand entrance. 

Some of us take a guided tour with a staff member. It's hard to describe Derian House, I'll let them do that www.derianhouse.co.uk While it's impossible to not notice the lifts, hoists and other pragmatic equipment required to care for these very poorly kids what I don't notice is any sense of despair, sadness or melancholy to the place. The staff come over as ordinary people quietly achieving extraordinary things. The building is light, comfortable, easy to be in and quiet normal. When I step outside I have to remind myself what this place is really for.

bikers and young patients with staff outside at derian house
The bikers, the young patients and some carers at Derian House

After a round of thank yous and goodbyes we kit up and head out again. The charity work has been done now it's time to play. We ride out through Euxton, Croston, Rufford then into Southport. It's now mid afternoon and all the other bikers are out too, the Carousel where the bikers meet is packed solid, our machines have to squeeze and shuffle into any vacant patches of tarmac. Being on my 125 it's easy for me to wiggle my way through the big bikes, I didn't expect the gf to follow me through such tight gaps, yet she does. Getting a bit good at this biking thing she is.

Getting refreshment means a long wait. Southport is heaving, as any seaside resort should be on a dry, sunny bank holiday. There's screaming kids, frustrated parents and bored bikers all queueing up for a can of pop and maybe an ice cream. Back with the rest of the crew there's more chatting and a healthy dose of looking at all the bikes. All this while the sun shines and warms us. There's a stiff breeze blowing my hair into my can of pop yet I can tell it's warm, the gf has removed one of her many jumpers.

It takes some doing, getting us all out from among the many motorcycles, through all the pedestrian families and into the endless flow of traffic on the main road. We ride back in convoy through Rufford and Parbold and at Standish we start to split off to return to our various homes.

What a grand day out. The sun shone, the riders all behaved themselves (well, mostly anyhow MW) and we've all had a jolly jape. Now we can't claim to have raised a fortune or made a big difference to the children of Derian House but I do hope we've put a few pennies and a few gifts their way. Many thanks to DD for organising the run, to the Rose and Crown for getting up early and to the weather for being good. I do hope next year is as good as this year.

a helmet in a fluffy cover to look like a dog's head
There's always one isn't there.

Reader's Comments

linda atkinson said :-
great read, great day out
1/1//2000 UTC
DA said :-
Lovely write up, sumdrs up the day perfectly.
1/1//2000 UTC
Sharon said :-
Hospices never cease to amaze me. Be they for adult or children. One would imagine them to be rather sad with an air of sorrow and loss. But what I have found is that they are places full of light and laughter. You can feel the energy, the love and care radiating from the staff. They are nothing like hospitals they are a home from home filled with friends.
They are invaluable to a caring society and we would must all be aware that hospices receive no money from government and are funded only by charitable donations.
Sheena kindly showed us around the hospice showing us where money that is given is put to use. A new pool has recently been installed and a new sensory garden is in the plans for the near future. Believe me all money is well spent.

Our bike club is holding a fun day to raise further money for this wonderful place so if you can come along or wish make a donation please see details below.

Poster of event available here
1/1//2000 UTC
Daisy said :-
Love being able to take part even in the smallest of ways to gernerate/collect and dontate to such a worthy place, Derian House is funded solely on the generosity of ordinary people and any help towards giving these children a more comfortable stay is greatly appreciated and accepted, only with I could do more xx
1/1//2000 UTC

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