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BLOOD RIDE – BIKERS LEND A BEAT

Riders’ group photo with LoYAC volunteers

LoYAC and Tristar Motorcycles held a blood donation campaign over the weekend at Souq Sharq with robust participation from various bikers and biking clubs in Kuwait. The event was sponsored by Al Ahli Bank and supported by the Central Blood Bank.

The blood donation ride has become a highly anticipated fixture in the riding calendar of Kuwait’s bikers, bringing together the growing community of biking enthusiasts for a noble cause. Bikers of Tristar affiliated groups of Kuwait BMW Motorcycle Club, Ducati Club, and Motolady Club gathered at LoYAC headquarters in Al Qibliya School, where they were joined by members of several other active motorcycling clubs in Kuwait, such as Kuwait Drag 965, the Kuwait Riders, Phoenicians, Pharaohs, and many more. The group proceeded to Souq Sharq in an attention-grabbing convoy for the all-day blood donation event.

Jafar Behbehani, Proprietor of Tristar Motorcycles and President of the Kuwait BMW Motorcycle Club and Kuwait Ducati Club, shared that the community of bikers continued to come out in support of the event in order to use the opportunity to not only reach out to those in need but also refute negative stereotypes held by the public about bike riders. “From the beginning we have made this commitment to demonstrate to the larger society that bikers are well-meaning, productive members of society that are keen to give back. Their help comes in the form of donating blood to support those is need. This year especially, the blood donated is dedicated to children fighting cancer which we hope will play a part in alleviating their suffering.” 

Riders who wished to donate their blood at the event were made to register with officials from the Central Blood Bank and undergo a screening process before their donation. The Central Blood Bank serves as the only central supplier of blood to all hospitals, government or private, in Kuwait. Continuous supply is needed to meet the needs of patients undergoing surgeries as well as those suffering from terminal diseases.  

Behbehani stated that this was their 10th collaboration with LoYAC, a nonprofit organization working towards the overall development of the youth that greatly encourages voluntary work  along with a host of social and community services, and the fifth year with Al Ahli Bank as sponsors of the event. 

Behbehani hopes the event will promote safety of the bikers.  “My motto has always been — Don’t waste your blood on asphalt.” He encouraged bikers to respect the road and other drivers and requested car drivers to be more considerate of motorcyclists who are more vulnerable on the roads and susceptible to getting hurt. “ I hope that car drivers will mind the safety of bikers on the roads knowing that their blood is precious and may in turn save their lives or that of their loved ones some day.”

Behbehani shared that the choice of venues over the years have been very effective in attracting the general public to donate. “The choice of the location this year was Souq Sharq which is frequented by many people who were curious on seeing the bikes. After being attracted by the bikes and learning the purpose of the gathering, they became donors as well.” 

“This year, especially, it was a very family-oriented event. LoYAC made a commendable effort with their young volunteers in this regard. We had artists who painted children’s faces and other entertainment activities for them, along with food and drink stalls. It was a really fun ambience and a beautiful day. We thank Souq Sharq for providing a very large and safe area for our event.”

The biking community has been expanding steadily over the years as more people began to see it not just a means for an exciting recreational experience but a useful mode of everyday conveyance. “We would like all bikers to really enjoy the sport and the way it is intended for pleasure or for transport and to be very mindful of their own safety by having proper training, license and safety gear.” 

The biggest trend in recent years, Behbehani shared, is that many patrons are buying motorbikes for the purpose of travelling abroad, “There are many who have travelled around the world in bikes. They have explored not only the Gulf Region but also Africa, Europe and the Americas on their bikes.” A number of such bikers also prefer to ship and store bikes at the destination in order to fly there and back comfortably, he informed. 

“Nowadays, we have a lot more biker gatherings in the Gulf region. At the same time. we are lucky today to have Kuwait Motor Town which helps promote the sport more, and saves a lot of time for enthusiasts who previously had to go to Bahrain or Qatar to enjoy their bikes and tracks. It is always good to have the sport respected and we thank the Amiri Diwan for building the track for the youth and getting them out of the roads when they really want to show their capability in riding bikes.”

Behbehani hopes that in the future, he will more bikers on the road irrespective of gender or age. “My motto has always been don’t complain about traffic, change your vehicle. One way to change your vehicle is to have a motorcycle. The traffic that we contend with every day is  primarily because each car owner takes with him six empty seats to and fro. This is the crux of our traffic woes. Instead of being part of the problem, we should be part of the solution. As the number of motorcycles increase, there must be more laws to control that, more education and tests for the car drivers and motorcycle riders to mind each other.” 

By Cinatra Alvares

Arab Times Staff

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