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Bishop's Stortford family man plans second mass Harley Davidson ride in friend's memory

A pack of Harley Davidson bikers, led by a Bishop’s Stortford family man, will come together for a ride to commemorate a woman they took under their wing.

Harley Davidson rideout. (9196423)
Harley Davidson rideout. (9196423)

Last year, Harley enthusiast Paul Middleton, 40, organised a bucket-list experience for dying Waltham Abbey mother of two Vicki Martinelli.

Vicki was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer in 2014. She had surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy which was successful, but in 2017 she was told the cancer had returned and spread to her brain, liver, bones and lungs and that it was incurable.

She then compiled a list of memorable experiences she wanted to do. One of these was for her and 14 friends to be pillion passengers on Harley Davidson motorbikes, so an appeal was put out on Facebook.

Paul, who lives just off Thorley Hill with wife Emma and eight-year-old daughter Melissa, had never met Vicki, but when he saw the Facebook appeal he jumped into action and organised a spectacular parade.

Around 500 bikers, accompanied by an ITV film crew and police stewards, collected Vicki and her friends from her home and rode to motorbike dealership Lakeside Harley Davidson. Part of the M25 was even closed to ensure the safety of the riders.

The event left a big impression on Vicki, who sadly died shortly before Christmas aged 43, so Paul decided to stage a repeat.

The ride on Saturday, June 8 will start at North Weald airfield and finish at Lakeside Harley Davidson. Vicki’s 14 friends will again join the Harley bikers. Vicki’s seat on the back of Paul’s motorbike, where she rode last May, will not be taken as a mark of respect.

“She’s just had such an impact, not just on me but on the other guys too,” said Paul.

Money raised will go to St Clare Hospice, where Vicki was cared for in her final days.

To find out more about Paul's mass Harley ride, visit www.facebook.com/events/563467170787964/

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