More than 600 people gather for first Fire Aid Ride of 2020, supporting bushfire-affected town of Putty

IN excess of 500 motorcycles, with more than 600 people, gathered for the first Fire Aid Ride of 2020 at the weekend.

The riders took off from Windsor on Sunday, February 23, in support of the Singleton town of Putty, which had been devastated by the recent bushfire crisis.

Founded by Sydney creative Jimmy Woodriff and the team behind The Distinguished Gentleman's Ride, Fire Aid Ride encourages people to visit areas that are doing it tough.

And, the Sydney motorcycling community did just that.

Familiar faces who came out to support the initiative included Osher Gunsberg, Brendan "Jonesy" Jones, Barry Du Bois, Danny Clayton and Pearl Herbert.

"It was amazing to have so many people join us and support those in Putty who have been significantly impacted by the recent fires," Mr Woodriff said.

"Riding straight north from Windsor, it's definitely overwhelming to see the devastation on each side of the road for kilometres on end.

"The Upper Colo NSW RFS were on the roadside to greet us halfway with lights flashing and kids waving, which put a smile on everyone's faces.

"We had huge lines buying coffee, food, fuel and beers right through the area."

Starting at the Macquarie Park Boathouse Cafe, the group ride made recommended pit stops at the Colo Riverside Cafe and Colo Heights Caltex along the route from Windsor, towards their final destination at The Grey Gum International Cafe in Putty.

With the incredible turn out, both venues at the start and end of the ride nearly ran out of food - the event was just what the locals needed to boost their businesses.

While fundraising wasn't the focus of the event, many attendees still wanted to contribute to the Putty, Howes Valley and Upper Colo NSW RFS brigades.

Enough money was raised to assist the Howes Valley NSW RFS in upgrading its station to make it a more suitable space for the firefighters to meet, recuperate and work.

Although it looked like rain was on the way, the weather held off to give perfect, cool riding conditions and the day ran smoothly with no bumps along the road.

A huge thanks goes out to MotoDNA, Rider Collective, SKRAM Moto Eyewear, Event Medical First Response and especially Yamaha Motors Australia for providing a support vehicle and friendly mechanic who was even able to get Jonesy back on the road when his clutch cable gave up.

Following the success of February's Fire Aid Ride, the second event for 2020 is already in the works.

Hitting the road again on Saturday, April 25, the motorcyclists will throw their support behind the local businesses on the South Coast, riding from the Royal National Park to Shoalhaven.