One thousand bikers heading to Ipswich
IT'S the high-octane kids' Christmas appeal that just won't stop gathering steam.
Though it is fronted by 1000 motorcycle riders, the annual Ulysses Toy Run has captured the hearts of a cross-section of the Ipswich community, with everyone from business owners to police and hospital workers getting involved.
Bright and early this Sunday, about 1000 riders decorated in tinsel and santa attire will rumble and grumble out of the Brassall Shopping Village.
Complete with kids' toys strapped to their motorcycles, the massive convoy will complete a 30-minute, police-accompanied loop around the western and southern suburbs of Ipswich, before stopping in at the showgrounds.
Ulysses Club Lockyer Branch president Ian Winter said piles of toys would then be passed on to the Salvation Army, who would distribute them to needy children across Ipswich and surrounds.
"This is classed as the best Toy Run in Queensland and the third best in Australia,” Mr Winter said.
"There is such a feeling of goodwill and euphoria from doing something good for somebody else - to give to someone at this time of year.
"It's a hair-raising experience and is just surreal to look in your rear vision mirror and see a continuous line of headlights, and know that all those people are there for the same reason.”
Australia Post and the Ipswich Hospital have all contributed to the appeal this year, with Brassall Shopping Centre putting out collection bins for donations for many years now.
The support from many local businesses has been consistent over the years.
"The Salvos truck will be parked over at Brassall because every year we get these random people showing up with skateboards and cricket bats and all sorts of things at the last minute,” Mr Winter said.
"The ride is for the riders - we are the spectacle - but the event is for everybody.”
The 2016 Toy Run departs Brassall Shopping Centre at 10.30am this Sunday, passing through Wulkuraka, One Mile, Churchill, Flinders View, Eastern Heights and Raceview on its way back to the Showgrounds.