Residents of Chiang Mai could hardly miss the latest ToyRide, which
took place on Sunday, January 4. Over 200 bikers (many we suspect with
hangovers from the previous night) brought their machines of all makes and
sizes, decorated with soft toys, Christmas tinsel and the all-important
teddy bears to the forecourt of Tesco Lotus Kam Thieng at 9.30 a.m. Even
Father Christmas stayed in Chiang Mai for the event!
Thailandfreunde Chiang Mai team, pictured with happy bikers and a huge toy
ToyRide’s main mission is to reach disadvantaged kids who, for one reason or
another, are ‘under the radar’ and to make their lives and those of their
families happier and more comfortable.
For the first hour everyone mingled, meeting and greeting new and old
friends (some of which they hadn’t seen since the 2008 ToyRide), and chatted
about their activities over Christmas and the New Year. A great deal of
admiring of various bikes, large and small, was also the order of the day.
This year the organisers planned a shorter route, to encourage smaller bikes
to take part, and the convoy set off with police escort at 10.30a.m., first
travelling around the moat and creating a great deal of attention, not to
mention noise, then heading off to Mae Rim’s X-Centre for a huge party.
Almost 100 kids, transported in pick-up trucks, joined in the parade as
well, all thrilled to see the toy-decorated bikes.
As well us some much-needed food and drink for the intrepid bikers, the
party featured music from John Nash and the Guitarman Band, with solo
performances from Tony and Kum. Chiang Mai School for the Blind Band also
delighted the over 400 people in attendance, including those who arrived by
more comfortable means of transport especially for the event. Magician Nick
Wiszynski and JokerMan the Clown, plus a very special little guest monkey
from the local Monkey Show, amused and amazed everyone, including 50 kids
from the Pa Mai Dang School and 30 from Croston House.
Scott Jones, who took part in the toy walk (having finally got rid of his
plaster cast), told the Chiang Mai Mail that Pa Mai Dang School is based at
Doi Saket and looks after orphans who live with family members rather than
in an actual orphanage.
With so many kids present, games were compulsory and greatly enjoyed by all.
The Tug of War proved very popular, and also a little embarrassing for the
local farang team as they came last, with the kids beating the bikers to
claim first place.
Everyone agreed that this year’s ToyRide was indeed the the ‘best ever’,
with everyone welcome and everyone happy!
More and more and more toy-laden motorbikes head
for the XCentre party and the waiting children.
Little bikes, all dressed up for the big
occasion, proving that size doesn’t matter!
200 bikers head off from ‘Tesco Lotus’ car park,
all loaded up with toys for the kids.
Overjoyed children with their new toys, pictured
at the party after
the ToyRide at the Chiang Mai XCentre.
Dirk and Wuttipong, pictured with some very
happy children at the XCentre.
Is this ‘true love’ at the ToyRide 2009?
Father Christmas and friends couldn’t bear to
miss the Chiang Mai ToyRide.