Members of the Top of the South Motorcycle Club set off on their annual fundraiser ride for the Nelson Marlborough Rescue Helicopter. Photo: Jonty Dine.

Bikies ride for rescue helicopter

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It was nine months ago that Dennis Wells called on the Nelson Marlborough Rescue Helicopter after a brutal motorbike crash which left him fighting for his life.

Riding up his daughter’s driveway on January 20, the 60-year-old made a crucial misjudgment and went over the handlebars, puncturing his lung, fracturing ribs, dislocating his shoulder and causing bleeding out his ear.

On Sunday Dennis got back on his Harley for the first time since the crash, riding in support of the charity that saved his life.

He was one of almost a hundred bikers from the Top of the South Motorcycle Club who took part in the sixth annual Daylight Savings Fundraiser Ride, which took place on Saturday.

Starting at the rescue helicopter base at Nelson Airport, the convoy cruised to Tapawera before heading to Moutere and finishing with a beer at the Speight’s Ale House.

Club vice president Phil Lovegrove says the annual run is a highlight for the biker community.

He says it was an obvious choice to support the Nelson Marlborough Rescue Helicopter.

“They support us.”

The club raised $1700 during last year’s ride and hoped to better that figure this time.

“We just want it to get bigger and better.”

Phil says there is a big emphasis on safety during the ride.

“We are supporting the rescue helicopter, but we don’t want them picking any of us up today.”

Now fully recovered from his immense injuries, Dennis Wells says he is excited about his first ride since the crash.

“It’s a disease and once you’ve caught it, there is no cure.”

He insists he has no fear following the accident.

“It’ll be just like riding a bike.”