Our very own advanced fleet bike rider Burt Reynolds had passed away on New Years Day following a courageous battle with a brain tumour. Burt joined Cornwall Blood Bikes on 27th January 2018 and I think it is safe to say was the epitome of what a CBB volunteer should be.
Burt joined the charity with exactly the right manner: quietly and steadily, gaining knowledge and information about the organisation that he had chosen to volunteer with.
Burt was a retired Devon & Cornwall Police Sergeant, serving in many Cornish villages but soon joined the Traffic branch of “O” Division.
Burt passed his advanced driving/ riding in 1986 and was a Police Class 1 rider.
Burt was always so proud to tell you that he was one of the first traffic Sergeants involved in setting up the fledgling Traffic Training School, and went onto serve at Devon & Cornwall Police Headquarters at Middlemoor, producing some excellent students and courses.
Burt was a proud Cornishman, born and bred and adored the County that he said he always felt privileged to live in. Using Burt’s own words “Gods Country, if he made anything better then he kept it to himself”.
So in January 2018 when Burt was looking for a new focus, he felt that Cornwall Blood Bikes would be an ideal place to take the passion of a devoted career of good road safety and safe motor biking to a charity that simply was “Riding for Life”.
Upon Burt’s joining he soon forged many friendships & regained old friendships with current CBB volunteers who were also retired Devon & Cornwall Police officers, and many a tale got told at fundraising events as they reminisced over old times.
2018 for CBB was one of the busiest to date with over 186 fundraising events and talks.
When the Charity prepared to welcome in the milestone moment of receiving our first ever brand new BMW 1200 RT(P) “Spirit of Cornwall”, at our fundraising gala evening in April, at The Alverton Hotel in Truro.
Burt was delighted to be the on duty fleet bike rider for the evening and to be at the hotel outside welcoming guests to the evening. There was one problem, we thought some guests were late for the evening, but we later discovered no they were not late, Burt was keeping them chatting!
Our advanced bike fleet rider Burt threw himself into the Charity whole-heartedly, covering a multitude of shifts in all winds and weathers, never ever complaining and always privileged to be serving our Counties hospitals and hospices.
Burt found himself as the April 2018 “Iron Butt” Winner covering 840 operational miles, and received his certificate back in June at our volunteer’s day. Burt was so dedicated to the charity that he not only gave up his time to ride and fundraise but also was an immense help to our CBB Fleet Manager moving bikes around the County for health checks, breakdowns and servicing.
For those volunteers that didn’t know Burt then it didn’t take very long to work out that his sense of humour was simply outstanding!
Burt loved fundraising events, and was more than happy to attend them up and down the County, and never ceased to be amazed by the communities’ generosity.
He took part in fancy dress, golf days where they ended up playing snooker with golf balls, judging competitions and even spent time at an event in the summer persuading a local MP to look at the work of blood bikes group up and down the Country and to see if we could be allowed vehicle tax exemption.
Burt would ring the co-coordinator to book a job number to attend an event, or to move a bike, the call received would go something like this:-
“Good Afternoon Cornwall Blood Bikes”
“Ah Cornwall Blood Bikes – Burt Here, you are looking well”
Burt’s journey came to an end on New Years Day.
The first week of January 2019 CBB took delivery of a bike from our colleagues at Freewheelers EVS in Bristol, this has become our BMW 4, and this will always proudly bear “In Memory of “Burt”
On Monday 21st January 2019 Cornwall Blood Bikes joined with Burt’s family & friends and we got to say our final farewell.
CBB got to pay our unique, moving and special tribute, where all 11 of our CBB fleet bikes escorted Burt’s funeral cortege and took him on his final and last ride.
The 11 riders on the fleet bikes were:-
"In Memory of Burt" was ridden directly in front of the hearse, by his good friend Dave Trudgeon, together they had formed quite a comedy partnership, and nothing could have been more fitting.
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