Hizzy back in the Borders

SCOTLAND’S largest free motorbike rideout, to remember TT ace Steve Hislop, attracted more than 200 bikers on Sunday.

Organiser of the Hizzy Run, Wendy Oliver, a friend of the late superbike champion, said between 220 and 250 riders took part in the 10th memorial rideout.

She said: “It was a great day and it went really well.”

The anniversary run started from Denholm for the second year and again stayed in the Borders, taking riders on a different route to last year, through Hawick, Selkirk, Peebles, Broughton, Moffat, and Langholm before returning to Hawick and then Denholm.

She explained why it was a Borders ride: “In previous years, we’ve started at Dundee and other places but Steve was from the Scottish Borders and we had really good feedback about the route [she had organised in the Borders last year] and there are only so many ways to come down from the north to the south.”

Riders had come over from Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man for the 10th run she said.

The cause the enthusiasts donated to this year was a hyperbaric chamber in the Isle of Man. The final total was still being calculated earlier this week.

Steve won the Isle of Man TT 11 times plus the British 250cc Championship in 1990 and the British Superbike championship in 1995 and 2002 before his death aged 41.

Wendy has been involved in the run since the start and knew Steve and his late brother, Garry, well as he worked for her father, Jim Oliver, at the family’s T B Oliver garage in Denholm

“He served his apprenticeship as a motorbike mechanic here and my dad sponsored Steve before he became a professional, ” she said.

Asked what Steve was like, she said: “He was determined, quite serious at times but that was a quality he would have to have if he was going to race, and he was very meticulous – he was a very good writer and very particular in everything that he did. ‘That’ll do’ wasn’t him at all. He enjoyed a laugh too.

“As long as there is somebody to organise I don’t see why the ride shouldn’t continue, and as long as I can do it, I will.”

The first memorial run for Steve was organised by Alan Duffus in October 2003 after the biking star’s death in a helicopter crash near Teviothead earlier that year.

It was held to raise money for two statues in memory of him, one in Hawick and the other in the Isle of Man where he had been