Thousands turn out for Olympic-themed biker event

Large crowds gathered at Akyley Heads Durham Police HQ for the annual Bikewise event. There was lots to see and do, especially if you were a fan of motor bikes. Amanda Andreikanaite, 15, from High Barnes in Sunderland went along with her parents and managed to get up close with this owl.
Large crowds gathered at Akyley Heads Durham Police HQ for the annual Bikewise event. There was lots to see and do, especially if you were a fan of motor bikes. Amanda Andreikanaite, 15, from High Barnes in Sunderland went along with her parents and managed to get up close with this owl.
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DARING displays of spectacular stunts and skills were on show at a biking event which attracted 11,000 people.

Families flocked to Durham Constabulary’s BikeWise day at Akley Heads, which saw riders put their experience to the test during the packed programme.

Large crowds gathered at Akyley Heads Durham Police HQ for the annual Bikewise event. There was lots to see and do, especially if you were a fan of motor bikes. Amanda Andreikanaite, 15, from High Barnes in Sunderland went along with her parents and managed to get up close with this owl.

Large crowds gathered at Akyley Heads Durham Police HQ for the annual Bikewise event. There was lots to see and do, especially if you were a fan of motor bikes. Amanda Andreikanaite, 15, from High Barnes in Sunderland went along with her parents and managed to get up close with this owl.

The annual event is normally held during the last weekend in July or first in August, but organisers moved it to an earlier date to avoid clashing with the Olympics and other events.

But as a nod to the London 2012 Games, the BikeWise day had its own torch relay, echoing the procession which passed through County Durham last month.

Two teenagers who ran as part of the torch relay, recreated their role, flanked by guest riders John McGuinness and Steve Brogan, from HM Plant, and a police escort.

Other activities during the 18th annual BikeWise day, in addition to motorcycle displays from a series of teams, included a visit from the force’s dog unit and the police helicopter.

Sergeant Ian Rodgers, head of Durham’s motorcycle team, said: “It went really well considering we have brought the date forward to accommodate the Olympics and we were a bit worried people didn’t realise it was happening.

“But we had a good turnout and the bad weather held off and it was a tremendous day out.

“I think the torch relay with the riders and police escort was quite spectacular and people really enjoyed it.

“Now our eye is very much on next year as we start to plan that.”

Twitter: @Echoeastdurham\