Kyle Neeley leads more than 400 motorcyclists through Queen St during Saturday’s Ulysses Nelson Toy Run. Photo: Phillip Rollo.

Biggest toy run ever

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The biggest turnout on record greeted the Ulysses Nelson Toy Run with more than 430 motorcyclists making their way from Richmond to Nelson, bearing gifts and donations for the Salvation Army.

The annual event, now in its 27th year, has become so iconic that committee member Allan Smith believes everyone knows about it – and the numbers were boosted with the help of Nelson’s glorious sunshine.

“Any year that is over 400 is a good year for us. The weather was perfect. I think that over the years we’ve had an increasing number of family people that are turning up with their son or daughter on the back. We’ve got more motor scooters, the ride has got better organised and better planned.”

The ride takes motorcyclists from Cambridge St in Richmond to the Trafalgar Centre in Nelson. Riders can purchase a badge with the proceeds going to the Salvation Army, or alternatively they can bring a toy along to give as a Christmas present to the charity.

The toys are often strapped to the fronts of the motorcycles.

Around $1000 was raised from the event and Allan says the relationship between the club and the community has grown enormously in the past few years.

“They remember the toy run as an iconic event that we support. We’re down at Speight’s Ale House every weekend and people see us and it draws in new members. They know if they came to the Ulysses Motorcycle Club they’ll be riding in a way that is acceptable to them.”