Thousands of motorcyclists gathered at more than a dozen venues across South Africa at the weekend to take part in the 21st edition of the Toy Run.

Thousands of motorcyclists gathered at more than a dozen venues across South Africa at the weekend to take part in the 21st edition of the Toy Run.


The bikes were festooned with children's toys and saddlebags were stuffed to the brim. All the toys will be donated to disadvantaged children in homes and care centres (more than 70 charity organisations).


In Gauteng four Toy Runs converged on Gosforth Park in Germiston from the East Rand Galleria, the Randburg Waterfront, Steeldale Hyper and Church Square in Pretoria.


Despite lowering cloud early in the day, by late morning there were close to 18 000 motorcycles parked on the circuit's Sascar oval Their riders had donated more than 20 000 toys worth about R750 000, a report said.


Well over 5 000 bikes gathered at Ottery Hypermarket under cloudless skies for the Cape Town Toy Run. The toys they brought filled a truck and two trailers to overflowing, including a whole trailer-load of plastic kiddies' bikes from Sparrow and the riders of the Quad Club.


The Bloemfontein Toy Run was a striking success; although fewer bikes turned out than last year (386 to be precise) more toys – in excess of 2 000 – were donated, many of them by riders who came to the end point at the Old Grey's sports grounds in Park Road but didn't enter the lucky draw.


An estimated 800-1000 bikes turned out at the Pick 'n Pay Hypermarket in the William Moffat Retail Park for the Port Elizabeth Toy Run, hosted by members of the Midnight motorcycle club. Aside from the toys they brought, they raised about R30 000 for various children's charities.


In East London more than 200 bikes took part in the Toy Run from the East London War Memorial to the Gonubie Farmers’ Hall, where about 60 children from the Isaiah 58 home were entertained at the famous miniature train track for the day.


Earlier, the Nelspruit Toy Run – which was held on November 23 - proved by far the biggest yet in the Mpumalanga city, with more than 220 bikes present. In addition to the two bakkie-loads of toys collected, the day raised more than R13 000 which will be used to fill, as far as possible, a shopping list provided by the local branch of Child Welfare.


In Maritzburg, 400 bikes took part in the mass ride in lovely weather. Joining the "main manne" for the first time was a group of about 20 scooters. In addition to the toys donated by the riders, local Volvo, Land Rover and Nissan dealers, as well as individuals in the motor trade, clubbed together to donate 150 plastic bikes.