UP to 1,200 bikers will ride on publicly open roads between St Catherine and the Watersplash next month after organisers briefed the Island’s Constables this week.
Although honorary officers will support the event by policing key junctions and roads, there will be no official road closures on Sunday 28 May, when the Island’s tenth ‘Big Rideout’ will be staged.
New organiser Greg Mansell attended the April meeting of the Comité des Connétables yesterday to share plans with the parish heads.
Mr Mansell said that initial proposals to break up the rideout into waves, and even over several weekends, had been rejected by the Island’s biking community, and it was thought that the most efficient approach was for the bikes to ride as if they were normal road users.
This approach was supported by the Constables, who have consistently refused to designate the rideout as an official parade or procession over its decade-long history.
This is because of concerns about policing the event, including managing the riders on closed roads, which would mean that the Island’s normal traffic laws, including speed limits, would be suspended.
However, the Constables did express their support for the event, which raises money for Holidays for Heroes Jersey, and said their honorary officers would help where they could.
St Peter Constable Richard Vibert said that, like previous years, his honorary team would post diversions along the Five Mile Road to allow the bikes to safely enter the Watersplash car park.
The Constables also urged Mr Mansell to publicise the event prominently, to warn motorists to expect delays that day.
Mr Mansell added that this year, riders would need to register online before the event and pay an entry fee in order to better control the numbers, which have grown from around 300 riders to more than 1,000.
The bikers will muster at St Catherine from 10am before heading around to Gorey and along the coast road to town.
Unlike last year, the bikers will not have to stop at La Collette to allow batches of riders to travel along Victoria Avenue.
Instead, they will be allowed to continue. However, they will have to stop at any red lights along the way.
nThe Big Rideout is scheduled to take place between 11am and 3pm on Sunday 28 May.