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HomeNewsDave Day: First of 20,000 Dave Myers tribute bikers finish ride

Dave Day: First of 20,000 Dave Myers tribute bikers finish ride


By Pamela Tickell & Jennie DennettBBC News, North East and Cumbria

BBC Bikers in BarrowBBC

Crowds of the bikers have begun to arrive in Barrow-in-Furness

Thousands of motorcyclists have begun to arrive at the end of a mammoth ride from London to Cumbria to celebrate the life of Hairy Biker Dave Myers.

The TV chef died in February, at the age of 66, after he was diagnosed with cancer.

“Dave Day” has seen a 25km (16-mile) long remembrance procession, made up of about 20,000 bikers, journeying from the capital to Myer’s coastal home town of Barrow-in-Furness.

As the riders set off on Saturday morning, fellow Hairy Biker Si King described it as “amazing” and a “celebration of the best friend that I’ve lost”.

 South Shore Productions/PA Si King and Dave Myers in their BBC cooking programme, The Hairy Bikers Go West South Shore Productions/PA

Si King (left) is taking part in the ride for his friend and TV partner

The procession began to arrive in Barrow from about 16:00 GMT, waved on by thousands of people.

One on-looker, Marie, who watched the procession from a bridge near Burton services, around 40 miles from the finish point, said: “The atmosphere was lovely, warm and quite emotional to see so many bikers.

“We were pleased to wave them in and welcome them to our beautiful county of Cumbria.”

Procession at Burton services

The procession passed through Burton in Cumbria

There were reports the service station was shut northbound due to the sheer number of travellers.

The procession organisers had planned to stop there for a break, but instead drove straight on towards Barrow.

Many of those gathered at the start point, the Ace Cafe in north London, on Saturday morning were wearing Hawaiian shirts.

Si King said of the crowd: “Everybody’s got that lovely Dave sartorial elegance about them, ie dodgy shirt.

“Some of them have had them specially printed, it’s remarkable.”

He added: “You never know how these things are going to impact you… it is a celebration of Dave’s life.

“That’s why we’re here, because he was so irritatingly positive all of the time. And we love him and that’s why we’re here.”

‘Irritatingly positive’

Myers’ widow, Lili, said: “We have people coming from all over the country. We have people coming from Texas, from Malaysia, from all over Europe.

“Oh, it’s endearing. It just helps me go through my process of grief because it just makes me feel that I’m not on my own with all this.

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PA Motorcyclist dressed in Hawaian shirt taking part in a cavalcade in honour of the late-Dave MyersPA

One of the stop-offs was at the National Motorbike Museum in Solihull

Jason Woodcock, who organised Dave Day, said the idea arose at Myers’ funeral, for which Lili had asked him to “get a couple of bikes together”.

“They got to the funeral, had a few beers as you would do, and then the idea came up during the conversation of let’s do a memorial ride.”

Girl waving to bikers with a sign that says '275 miles to Barrow'

People gathered along the route to cheer on the procession

As the procession concludes later on Saturday, celebrations will centre around Barrow Town Hall with performances, stalls by local vendors who have worked with the Hairy Bikers on various projects and a service of remembrance.

The event will also raise money for NSPCC Childline and The Institute of Cancer Research, with donations being split evenly between the two charities, organisers said.

The route of the memorial ride

The route of the memorial ride with planned stop-offs

In the run-up to the day, staff and students from Greengate Junior School in Barrow dressed up as Myers.

Those who took part sported fake beards and moustaches, as wells as a waistcoat similar to the one the chef wore.

Dylan, 10, said the moustache felt itchy, while teacher Stephen Leigh said Myers was a Barrovian treasure.

“Any sort of focus on the positives of Barrow is really, really good. And it’s a marvellous place,” he added.

Neil Irvin, Dylan (10), Macie (10) and Stephen Leigh from Greengate Junior School in Barrow dressed as Dave Myers

Students and staff at Greengate Junior School in Barrow dressed up as Dave Myers for their Dave Day celebrations

People have travelled from all over the world to take part in the event.

Dawn Mayers, who is originally from Fleetwood near Blackpool, lives in Malaysia for the most of the year.

She decided to come back to the UK especially for the celebration.

“Dave died when we were in Malaysia, so we decided to light a candle for him at a local Buddhist temple.

“We’ve watched every episode [of the Hairy Bikers], we have every cookbook,” she said.

Ms Mayers arrived in Barrow on Friday and said the atmosphere was electric.

Dawn Mayers Dawn MayersDawn Mayers

Dawn Mayers has flown from Malaysia to take part in Dave Day

Keni Carrington, 70, travelled from France on Friday and is riding the entire route to Barrow from the Ace Cafe.

Ms Carrington’s husband of 35 years, Chris, who was also a biker, died last June following a cancer diagnosis.

“Chris was my soulmate and he would love to have done this ride for Dave Myers,” she said.

Keni Carrington Keni and Chris CarringtonKeni Carrington

Keni Carrington has travelled from France and is riding in memory of her late husband, Chris

Meanwhile, riders struggling for somewhere to stay were helped out by local residents offering their spare rooms, caravans, and even their backyards.

Tim Walker offered up his garden in Askam-in-Furness for people to camp out in.

“We thought, well, we’ve got plenty of room [in the garden]. Got some tents and some spare rooms,” he said.

Mr Walker and his wife are also planning to serve breakfast to their eight guests.

He did not want people to pay to stay on his property and asked people to “put a donation in the bucket” instead.

Tim Walker with his tent is offering to host visitors to Barrow

Tim Walker offered up his garden in Askam-in-Furness for people to camp out in

Barrow Town councillor Dani Petrova said of Myers: “He was just a normal guy from Barrow doing us all proud.

She added she was “absolutely gobsmacked” at the reaction to Dave Day.

“The people of Barrow are what makes Barrow beautiful and Dave was one of us.”



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