WE have to take a stand.
That was the rallying call from Southampton’s motorcycle community ahead of a mass demonstration in memory of fellow bikers killed in road smashes.
Hundreds of riders will take to the streets for the Do You See Us Now rally, alerting other road users of motorcyclists’ plight.
It is being spearheaded by close friends of biker and charity fundraiser Carol 'Bubbles' Carr, who was tragically killed in a fatal rush hour crash on Tuesday last week.
On Friday, March 7, hundreds of bikers will gather for an emotional farewell to Ms Carr when a 300-strong motorcycle convoy will travel to her funeral at Southampton Crematorium.
The hearse will arrive at the Bittern pub in Thornhill Park Road at 11.15am where the convoy will form before making its way to the crematorium’s East Side for the 11.45am service.
Ms Carr, 50, from Bitterne, died at the roadside when her Yamaha 900 was in collision with a grey Vauxhall Insignia in Moorhill Road, West End.
The Vauxhall driver, a 33-year-old man from Fareham, was initially questioned by police after the collision but not arrested.
Now biking groups want to hold the rally in memory of Ms Carr – who organised Southampton Toy and Easter Egg Runs in the 1980s and 1990s – and scores of other riders killed or injured on the county’s roads.
The event organisers want to hold the demonstration in May but have yet to confirm a final date.
They are holding an initial meeting on Sunday to draw up a route and design T-shirts, posters and banners sporting their message.
Organiser Sam Larkman, 49, from Bitterne, has been friends with Ms Carr for four years.
The mum-of-four said: “We’ve all lost someone or known someone who has been killed or injured in a road crash.
“But if it can happen to Bubbles, who was a safe rider with so many miles under her belt, then how do the rest of us stand a chance?
“We want to make a stand and say look out for us."
She hailed Bubbles as a “fantastic lady” and added: “People from all different backgrounds and walks of life loved her.
“Someone had to tell me three times she had been killed because I didn’t believe it. We only saw her on Sunday and suddenly she was taken away from us on Tuesday.
“I’ve never seen so many men cry as in the last few days.
“People think of bikers as ruffians. But we are not leather-clad vandals.
“We are mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters and we do a lot for good causes.”
The convoy will follow a route suitable for learner riders and those on scooters and aims to pass key locations where fatal collisions have occurred.
The initial meeting takes place from 2pm at the Bittern pub in Thornhill Park Road in Southampton.
People can also suggest ideas by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or on the Southampton Biker News page on Facebook.