Future Hells Angels bike rides possible: police

KELSEY FLETCHER
Last updated 13:45 12/02/2012

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Police won't rule out future Hells Angels charity bike rides despite a number of minor incidents during yesterday's event.

An estimated 270 bikers took part in the ride from Northcote to Puhoi with the assistance of uniformed and mufti police officers.

The ride was organised by breakaway gang Hells Angels 81 Nomads and encouraged participants to donate $20 to the Red Cross.

Patched members from various gangs - including the Hells Angels, Nomads, Head Hunters, Black Power, Filthy Few, the Hu Hu's and the Redeemed Motorcycle Ministry - entered the event.

It was also publicised as a New Zealand first and encouraged non-members to take part.

Waitemata superintendent road policing manager John Kelly says police became involved for a number of reasons.

''Number one was to make sure they rode within the law, and number two was to primarily prevent the inconvenience to the public,'' he said. ''When motorbikes ride together they create chaos so we minimised that.''

Kelly said a number of incidents took place during the event where participants had to be stopped and spoken to.

One participant left the road and crashed his motorbike but only sustained minor injuries, Kelly said.

''We did breath tests and all [the motorbikes] were up to standard and licences up to date.''

Kelly said as far as police were concerned, the event worked  out well.

''There was some inconvenience. Our job was to minimise that and get the motorbikes out as fast as we could and we achieved that pretty well.''

Kelly said an annual event by Hells Angels 81 Nomads based on this event could be viable.

''If they decided to do this on an annual basis we would want some more structure for future events,'' he said.

''What they have to remember is there are other road users and they have to fit in - they have to learn to share the road.''

New Zealand Red Cross national fundraising manager Alice Montague said hundreds of community groups raise funds for the Red Cross.

''To our knowledge this has always been done with the best intentions and we have received the funds raised. One of the Red Cross' fundamental principles is impartiality, and it does not judge any organisation that offers to raise money for the community.''

A member of the Redeemed Motorcycle Ministry, who only wanted to be known as Mark, said it was pleasing that a charity like the Red Cross would benefit from the ride.

''It's a good event and great money is being raised,'' he said. ''There are people here from all sorts of different groups. It's great that something good will come out of it.''

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