DOZENS of bikers took part in an emotional 100-mile ride in memory of their friend who was killed in an accident.
On the way they stopped at HMS Victory – biking enthusiast Gary Greaves’s final post as a Chief Petty Officer at the end of his 23-year naval career.
It was the first event for Gary’s Trust, in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support, set up by his widow Carol Greaves following the tragedy last October.
More than 40 bikers from Gary’s old bike club, the Valkyrie Riders Cruisers Club, including members from Belgium, the Netherlands, Wales and England, joined in to pay tribute to him.
The ride started and finished at Hilton Avisford Park Hotel in Arundel, but as well as HMS Victory, stopped at St Mary’s Church in the grounds of Portchester Castle, where a memorial service was held for Gary late last year.
Carol, from Portchester, said: ‘It would always be me and Gary doing rides like this so it has been sad in that respect.
‘The hardest part was at the church where Charlie, the vicar said some words and we said a prayer.
‘The number of people who’ve come, it goes to show how popular and how loved he was and still is.
‘They’ve been good friends who have helped Macmillans.
‘It’s been tough, but this has been brilliant.’
Club member Bob Vickers, 56, from Woking in Surrey, said: ‘It’s nice to see that so many of the guys from the club have turned up. He was one of the guys. If he was at a meet or some event, he would always be the first one up there.
‘He was a good laugh – a real character. I still can’t believe what happened.’
And Bob Gibbons, 60, from the Rhondda Valley, added: ‘We were so gutted when we heard. Gary was such a good bloke.’
Maxine and Brian Day, of Mayfield Road in North End, Portsmouth, were family friends who came to see the bikes gather at HMS Victory. Mrs Day said: ‘He was a real practical joker, he would always be the one to break protocols and be a bit naughty. He was always smiling.’
More than 150 people joined in a fundraising dinner and dance at the hotel after the ride.
Gary and Carol met and lived in Portsmouth before moving to Arundel. They were planning to move to Portchester at the time of his death, aged 48.
Carol was given the all-clear from cancer two weeks before Gary’s bike collided with a Land Rover on private farmland at Buriton near Petersﬁeld.