"The RAFBF is a wonderful charity that supports our Service people and their families, drawing together past and present, officers and airmen.
Being a part of this adventure brings in another adventure-loving team - bikers and here's your chance to mix pleasure, challenge and adventure while helping and supporting a charity that is in the front line of support for your Royal Air Force.
There's never been a better time to do this - the draws on the Benevolent Fund are greater than ever and you can make a real difference. Good luck to you all "
Gp Capt Ian Gale, MBE, MBA, MA, RAF
2014 is the 70th Anniversary of Operation Market Garden when British, American and Polich paratroops dropped behind enemy front lines to capture vital bridges on the roads ahead of the allied advance towards Germany.
The basics of the ride in 2014 (Provisional - Final confirmations of the event and additions to the programme are expected by early September 2014):
To be an 'Acredited Dambusters2014 Rider' all you need to do is raise at least £250 for the Dambusters2014 charities Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund and Motorcycle Outreach and donate on-line via a dedicated ‘Virgin Money Giving’ website – safe, secure and with Gift Aid option. The Virgin Money Giving site will be up and running to accept donations from Mid-February 2014 - details to follow.
17th September 2014 : RAF Conningsby, Lincolnshire.
A 'Start Event' planned to be held at the RAF Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, RAF Coningsby, starting at 9.00am on 17th September 2014
Riders leave RAF Coningsby at midday for the ride to Arnhem, and the John Frost Bridge, - the 'Bridge too Far'!
All riders will have received a comprehensive 'Rider pack' with suggested routes, places to visit en-route which trace the whole of Operation Market Garden right from the location of the first bridge at Son through to the John Frost Bridge itself. This allows riders to move at their own pace, to visit what they choose and so really enjoy the ride across to Arnhem!
19th September 2014 : Arnhem
We will all get together again late morning / lunchtime of 19th September to visit the Airborne Museum at Oosterbeek to to lay a wreath at the RAF Memorial before moving on to visit the Commonwealth War Grave Commission cemetery again at Oosterbeek which holds the graves of, amongst many others, Flt Lt David Lord VC who gave his life flying a RAF Dakota on 19th September 1944.
From there we plan to ride to Landing Zone 'S' where Dakota KG374 flown by Flt Lt David Lord VC crashed on 19th September 1944 on a supply drop mission.
We then plan to link up with local Netherlands bikers for a joint 'Ride in' to the city of Arnhem in time to be part of the wider 70th Anniversary Commemorations. More details of this new development in the coming weeks as plans firm up but as riders from 2013 will know, the joint ride out with local German bikers around the Mohnesee was one of the highlights of the whole 2013 Dambusters Charity Ride!
In Arnhem itself:
18.30hrs : Slow march of pipes and drums at the John Frost Bridge
19.00hrs : Commemoration at the Airborne Monuemnt, Arnhem
20.00hrs : Social 'Get-together' at the City Hal, Arnhem
On the 20th September riders leave to do their own thing! Some will ride on to continue their european journey, at least one bike is heading south to Morroco, whilst others will ride home to the UK. All will have been part of one of 2014's iconic motorcycle ride outs and helped raise a 'shedload' of cash for some wonderful charities!
Please note : As was the case for the 2013 event Riders will need to make their own ferry/tunnel arrangements and arrange their own accommodation for the trip.