Mechanics get revved up and ready for charity rally in aid of Grace House

Moped-mad mechanics are preparing to set off on a ride which aims to pull in thousands for a charity.

Around 26 bikers will take their classic and vintage 50cc to 70cc bikes on a fancy dress rally from Sunderland to Barnard Castle and back on Saturday, May 21.

The moped riders as they set out on their practice run.

The moped riders as they set out on their practice run.

Ahead of the trip, they took to the road today to put in a practice journey from Monkwearmouth Station Museum to South Shields and back, taking in the seafronts.

Steve Milner, of North East Motor Repairs in Castletown, helps organise the event, which raised £2,000 last year.

He said: "We decided to get together three years ago and we started because we wanted to a charity bike ride for charity and chose Grace House because it's a good cause.

"We try to make more each year and the lads enjoy it and getting out.

"The feedback we get from them is just amazing, they love getting together and it's just good fun."

The route from Sunderland takes them through Seaham and Peterlee before heading across toward Durham and then Bishop Auckland, taking the quieter roads.

The group, which also brings together workers from Alexandra Bridge Coachworks, Main Road Garage and Scotts Bank Garage in Southwick, Burn Garage in Houghton and Sunderland's Hylton Road Autos, will head to Barnard Castle on the Saturday and stay over in the town.

During the evening they will collect donations as they visit its pubs, before their return leg the next day, taking a route via Weardale back to Wearside.

Anyone who would like to donate to their collection can call into any of the garages or to Grace House in Bardolph Drive, Southwick, which offers short breaks and respite to children and young people.