Fat Bikers Motorcycle Club members admit unashamedly that some of them are “a bit wide around the waist” but they’ve also got big hearts, as Raglan is about to find out.

The club will be heading into Raglan en masse on Sunday week, all wearing blue as they kick up a storm to raise funds for the Blue September prostate cancer appeal.
Mark ‘Fat Max’ Hill, who runs the club — which now has about 300 members nationwide — says they organise monthly fundraising rides for various charities throughout the year. And while the fundraising’s for deadly serious causes, that doesn’t stop them having a helluva lot of fun along the way.

They’ve done runs for child cancer, for Christchurch, for Starship — and whether they get a few hundred dollars or a few thousand, it’s all about enjoying the day with like-minded people on motorbikes, says Mark. An undies raffle was a feature of one fundraiser, adds Mark, who’s obviously not always into the conventional.

The Sunday event, aptly named Smurf’s Up, is in aid of the Prostate Cancer Foundation of NZ, which this year is also hoping to raise awareness for testicular cancer.
Auckland riders will hit the road at 10am from their starting point in Papakura, heading down SH1 to Ngaruawahia where they hope to pick up more riders. Then it’s a relaxed “pootle” to Raglan, says Mark, “for a jolly nice day out on the wild west coast” — a first for the club.

Because eating is quite a big part of Fat Bikers, admits Mark, the plan is to arrive in town at the Harbour View Hotel about noon “for a feed and a chin wag”. Then the real fun starts.Bikers will bring something blue for the ‘Blue Bits’ auction. “Who knows what we’ll end up selling?” says Mark — bike memorabilia, a desk lamp maybe. Anything for a laugh, he reckons. “It’s pretty loose.”

And there’ll be official Blue September Appeal wristbands for sale as well as free blue facepaint, just in case anyone feels like giving it the big “Braveheart” look.
Not exactly PC, the Fat Bikers seem to create some controversy wherever they go, says Mark. But then who wouldn’t wearing t-shirts with slogans like ‘Eat the Road’, ‘Diets are for Wimps’ and ‘Heavy Bones’?

Whatever, the Fat Bikers are hoping for a successful fundraising afternoon in Raglan on Sunday week. Check them out at www.fatbikersmc.co.nz.

*To donate visit www.blueseptember.org.nz or text ‘blue’ to 4740 to donate $3 to the Prostate Cancer Foundation.

Edith Symes