Teddy bear Charlie travels the globe with bikers to raise awareness on child welfare, togetherness and peace upon the earth. He arrives in Coimbatore today
A teddy bear arrives in Coimbatore today. It is a special bear as it has travelled over 20 countries spreading the message of peace and love. The bear named Charlie has ridden with bikers across the globe as part of the World Wide Relay Ride (WWRR), an international motorcycle event that celebrates brotherhood.
The furry toy left Arizona in November 2013 and has since ridden on Enfield Bullets, Harley Davidsons, Kawasakis, and Vespas through New Zealand, Australia, Japan, Philippines, Nepal and India.
Charlie has been the baton that the relay of bikers have handed over to the next group of riders. The toy’s journey will end in the U.S.
Biker Manoj Vijaykumar from Tirupur is excited to receive Charlie at Cafe Coffee Day in Race Course. “It’s a matter of pride to be associated with an international riding event that also supports a cause,” he says.
In India, the bear was taken to some iconic places such as the Kamakhya temple in Guwahati, Cherrapunjee and Living Root Bridge near Shillong and the Coronation Bridge at Teesta. It has witnessed the sixth annual poker run in Nepal, visited the Panambur beach and various sites in Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Goa, and Kochi. Along the ride, the bikers stop by scenic spots, click photos and post them on Facebook.
Bikers in the city are geared up for the Coimbatore leg. “One of the objectives of WWRR is to network riders across the globe. This way, we become familiar with the biking community,” says Manoj. It’s his Royal Enfield that will take Charlie on a ride around Coimbatore and Tirupur before heading to Ooty. “The organisers wanted Charlie to enjoy a ride on the toy train to Ooty. We will soon post pictures on the WWRR Facebook page,” he says.
Manoj is a part of the Lone Wolf biking group in the city that has over 16 members who often go on riding trips to Ladakh and different parts of the Himalayas. “As people meet Charlie at various points they also learn about the message of cultural diversity,” he adds.
Mahesh Prasanna, who rides a Royal Enfield 500 Classic, takes over for the next segment of the trip — the scenic beaches of Puducherry. “I came to know about the ride through the Brotherhood of Bulleteers Motorcycling Consortium, a common forum for all the Enfield riding Clubs in the world. The Charlie Bear relay ride is an event that unites riders, promotes biking, tourism and charity. What more can we ask for?” says Mahesh.
After Puducherry, Charlie heads to Chennai and Hyderabad before his last leg of journey.
How it started
The idea of Charlie bear ride started over an idea in a Yamaha Forum on a Facebook group.
Initiated by David Perkins, the riders chatted about how a world wide relay could pave the way to promote peace and child welfare. In a month’s time, membership swelled to over 500 and Charlie started off his first leg of the journey from the U.S. Later, as the members posted photographs from the travels, Charlie grabbed the attention of riders across the world and so began his tour of Australia, West Asian countries, and India.
The relay raises funds for children welfare from its travels.