MORE than 3,500 motorcyclists gathered to take part in the annual Bike4Life Ride Out and Festival, raising £73,800 for Midlands Air Ambulance Charity.

The 23-mile Ride Out, led by world Superbike champion and racing legend Carl Fogarty, motorcycle and truck racing legend Steve Parrish, adventure motorcyclist and author Nick Sanders, and Boyzone popstar and professional drift driver Shane Lynch, finished at RAF Cosford, where more than 10,000 people attended the Bike4Life Festival.

At the festival, which was supported by the Safer Roads Partnership, bikers and visitors were entertained by live bands, including Bang Bang Romeo, Hollowstar, Mallen, Quartz, and headliners The Wholls, as well as a stunning freestyle motocross display from Jamie Squibb of Nitro Circus.

The £73,800 raised for the Lye-based Midlands Air Ambulance Charity, will help to fund 30 air ambulance missions across the region.

Jason Levy, fundraising director for the Dudley Road charity and chairman of the Bike4Life organising committee, said: “Since the Bike4Life Ride Out began in 2010, the event has continued to grow in numbers and funds raised.

“We are truly grateful and astounded at the generosity of the biker community, which has raised this fantastic amount of money for the charity.

“Over 35 per cent of the incidents our three air ambulances attend are road traffic collisions, and sadly a great number of these involve motorcyclists in urgent need of medical attention, so the money raised will help to ensure we can continue to provide lifesaving care when it’s most needed.”

Vicki Bristow, communications manager for the Safer Roads Partnership, added: “We support Midlands Air Ambulance Charity every year with this event as it’s a great opportunity for us to help to spread awareness of biker safety and to speak to bikers across the region.”