An annual motorcycle ride that sees thousands of bikers take to roads around Cornwall will go ahead this weekend – but with big changes in line with COVID-19 regulations.
The 33rd Martin Jennings Memorial Motorcycle Charity Run is scheduled to take place on Sunday (September 13).
Usually, if the event is cancelled because of bad weather it is reorganised for a later date but, given the Government’s new guidelines which come into force on Monday banning gatherings of more than six people, in the event of heavy rain or strong winds the event will be cancelled for 2020.
It was started in 1987, a year after the death of Martin Jennings, of Beacon, Camborne, at the Isle of Man Manx GP. He was 39.
David Saunby, from Falmouth, decided to hold the ride in his memory. That first ride had about 30 riders – now it attracts up to 2,000, raising thousands of pounds in the process.
Bikes of all shapes, sizes and vintages take part, with many riders also adding a bit of fun to the event, with fancy helmets and outfits.
The event sees spectators scrambling for a vantage point to witness the action.
In a message to riders, David said: “This year’s Jennings Run this Sunday will still be going ahead as planned, being 24 hours inside the new Covid 19 government regulations which will come into force on Monday, which means that I do not have the postponement option if the weather is not kind to us this Sunday.
“If we don’t go this Sunday, then the run will be cancelled for 2020, as I will have no other options open to me to continue this year in its current form.
“All I am asking is that you all be vigilant in adhering to the current social distancing legislation in place on the day, and to be at least one metre apart when waiting at your chosen place to join the run as it passes by, and to wear face masks, or leaving your helmet on with scarf around your nose and mouth, when appropriate to do so.
“When we reach the finish at Falmouth there is no social gathering, so you will then keep going, and disperse by riding off into the sunset, doing your own thing, and that we will all meet again, for the 2021 Jennings Run.
“(I’m) Still watching the weather forecast for Sunday and the final announcement will be made on Friday morning, as I have done in the past 33 years.
“Thank you for your patience. It has been a difficult year for all of us.”
This year’s rules
1. Practice social distancing in line with current government advice and legislation at all times. This is particularly important when waiting to join the event part way through.
2. If waiting to join the event part way through, wear the appropriate face covering as dictated by whatever advice and legislation is in force at the time.
3. Always be courteous to other road users, and abide by the rules of the road. The police have advised that there will be mobile speed cameras in place along the route to ensure compliance with the speed limit.
4. Riders are responsible for ensuring that all machines are taxed, insured, MoT’d (if appropriate) and in a roadworthy condition.
5. Fast and dangerous riding will not be tolerated.
6. Keep to nearside lane on dual carriageways, except when overtaking.
7. Keep behind the marshals and the lead bike, and keep moving.
8. The Tail-End-Charlie will be wearing an orange and bue bib, and will be accompanied by two marshals.
9. The run will be non-stop from start to finish, and when reaching the finish at Gyllynvase Beach, Falmouth, there ill be no social gathering.
10. Don’t forget to bring your facemask, and to wear when appropriate to do so.
Riders who participate in this run do so at their own risk. No claim shall be made against the organiser, the marshals or the chosen charity for any accident or incident however caused, resulting in damage, injury or death.
The route and approximate timings
11.30am, A39 Penryn bypass layby opposite Asda (Falmouth and Penryn bikers meet); 11.35am, A39 Perranarworthal Farm Shop layby (Helston bikers meet); 11.50am, Truro A390; 12 noon, B3275 Tresillian Business Park next to Mercedes Garage; 12.10pm Ladock; 12.20pm Fraddon A30 East; 12.30pm, Innis Downs inter section – take slip road and cross over the A30 heading back down west on A30; parking area on the St Austell side of the roundabout in the dead end road area to join with St Austell, Bodmin and Wadebridge bikers and those from the east of the county, with other large laybys on the A30 between Fraddon and Innis Downs interchange; 12.45am, Carland Cross; 12.55pm, Chiverton Roundabout; 1.15pm, Camborne West (Redruth, Hayle, and Penzance bikers to wait in the laybys between Chiverton and Camborne West junction); 1.20pm, Beacon (Camborne bikers to wait in The Square), 1.40pm, B3297 Helston Turnpike then A394/A39 to Falmouth, via Rame, Longdowns, Asda bypass, Ponsharden, Draceana Avenue to the main traffic lights, Castle Drive, the seafront, finishing by Gyllynvase Beach at around 2pm where the run will disperse.