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Bikers are always up for a party – especially when it’s for a good cause.

The bigger the feel-good factor, the bigger the run. So it was that hundreds of riders from all over the Western Cape turned out for the Cancer Association of South Africa’s Cancer Run 2012 to Fort Ikapa military base in Goodwood, which was held at the weekend in conjunction with the sixth annual EMS Blood Run in aid of the Western Province Blood Transfusion Service.

Two huge mass rides – one from the northern suburbs, one from the south, converged on the base, where each rider donated R40, which got them a pink wristband and a metal badge, while the brave – or less self-conscious – among them queued up to have their heads shaved in solidarity with cancer victims everywhere.

CMA Bikers Church pastor George Lehmann led the riders in prayer before dozens of candles were lit, each little flame honouring a life lost, a family’s pain.

Across the road the WPBTS staff were almost swept off their feet. Even with more than a 20 beds set up, the queue doubled back on itself as fierce-looking bikers chaffed each other about being scared of needles – especially those who’d never donated before.

There was a moment’s respectful hush, however, when it was announced that Wayne van Doesburgh, who was there in support of the host club, Lone Riders, was making his 100th donation – but nothing keeps a bunch of mainstream bikers quiet for long and soon the comments were flying again.

WPBTS were hoping for 80 donations; what they got was 90 from current donors plus 47 new donors – a total of 142 units of blood.

Outside, in the road, the Western Cape Emergency Medical Service piled two wrecked cars on top of each other, with a (very brave) volunteer in the bottom one, and then slowly, very carefully cut the crashed car to pieces around him, put him on a trauma board and gently slid him out of what was now a pile of scrap metal without moving his vulnerable spinal column a millimetre more than was necessary.

Convenor Courtney Abrahams of the host club, Lone Riders, is himself an EMS paramedic. He knows first-hand how crucial blood transfusions can be for accident victims; that’s what spurred him to organise the first blood run, six years ago.

Possibly the most important result is the 47 new donors’ names on the books of the Western Province Blood Transfusion Service, and the hundreds of riders who are more aware of the vital work of the Cancer Association of South Africa.

But there’s nothing wrong with having a rip-roaring party in a good cause, is there?

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