Light ‘Em Up: Siem Reap Bike Meet set to rev up Temple Town

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The Siem Reap Bike Meet – which started in 2017 and has since grown a strong support base in countries such as Thailand, Malaysia, India, Vietnam and Indonesia – is expected to draw a huge audience of local and international motorcycle enthusiasts. Photo supplied

The third annual Siem Reap Bike Meet (SRBM) is set to thrill Siem Reap with high-octane thrills on Saturday, from 11am to 11pm at Box Ville.

The event – which started in 2017 and has since grown a strong support base in countries such as Thailand, Malaysia, India, Vietnam and Indonesia – is expected to draw a huge audience of local and international motorcycle enthusiasts.

Co-founder and director of JustRide Motorbike Adventure Dean McLachlan recalled: “SRBM started on the back of a napkin among a small group of motorcycle riders and enthusiasts. We simply wanted to gather our friends and fellow riders together and share our love of two-wheeled machines and the open road.”

What was intended to be a small gathering turned out to be a hit, with the event drawing an attendance of 80 bikers and 120 motorcycle enthusiasts.

“We ended up attracting several international motorcycle travellers, and four experienced riders from Thailand. Its market has since become bigger due to a great deal of hard work and passion from our SRBM team and continued support from the motorcycle community.

“We received great feedback from people who attended the event. It was a great turn-out. They really loved it so we wanted to do it again. We have a good group of Cambodians and international travellers from Thailand,” McLachlan told The Post on Wednesday

SRBM last year saw a total of 120 bikes and 450 enthusiasts. This year, it is expected to draw an even bigger audience.

“It’s hard to predict, to be honest, but the calls and messages are coming in now. Realistically, we expect at least 300 to 400 motorcyclists, and perhaps 800 to 1,000 attendees. But as this event will be held in a new location, with better exposure and lots of walk-in traffic, it could possibly be more!” McLachlan said.

While SRBM’s main event is to be held on one day, such an occasion needs a warm-up.

“For SRBM 3, we will have the ‘Light ‘Em Up’ curtain-raiser on Friday, organised by our friends at Wild Cambodia Press in support of SRBM. The main event will be on Saturday. Social rides, which usually include a smaller group of keen riders, will also be organised on the following day. Hopefully, the SRBM organisers won’t be too exhausted to join!” said McLachlan.

In addition, SRBM announced: “The SRBM crew is presenting a new community initiative, ‘Lids for Kids’, on Saturday at Box Ville. More helmets will be donated to kids than ever before because [we believe that] changing the riding habits of our riders starts with the youth. ‘Ride Safely, Ride Smartly’.”

“If anyone would like to donate to the Lids for Kids initiative, they can do so on Saturday at the main event. If they would like to support the SRBM organisation, they can contact us via email or Facebook. We currently fund this [initiative] ourselves, along with some support from the motorcycle community,” said McLachlan.

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The Siem Reap Bike Meet vision is to spread the importance of a Cambodia with safer roads for all users, increased respect for motorcyclists and responsible riding when drivers hit the open roads. Photo supplied

A donation of $15 can be given by attendees to support the purchase of quality adjustable helmets for Cambodian youth. Supporters can also purchase raffle tickets on the day of the main event to win awesome prizes.

Last year, SRBM raised money for the Asia Injury Prevention (AIP) Foundation, with donations made to Phum O Primary School in the form of helmets for kids, and road safety and awareness lessons. The motorcycle culture in Cambodia is still young and growing. SRBM serves as a platform to spread riding knowledge, expertise and the message of safety and camaraderie.

“As well as the SRBM Riders Market, the event will also see performances from five live bands, including three local bands. Supporting local music is really important to us so we want to showcase the best of what’s around.

“Crowd favourite Batbangers band will be travelling from Battambang to rock the stage, and later in the evening we’ll welcome the SRBM House Band and the X-rays band that performs regularly at Hard Rock Cafe,” McLachlan told The Post.

The event is completely free and expects to receive a huge attendance from the Siem Reap community.

SRBM added that to make Siem Reap Bike Meet the ultimate motorcycling event within five years, “we aim to unite Khmer and foreign motorcycle-riding groups, clubs and individuals to encourage young Cambodians to maintain their motorcycles, to ride safely and to ‘dress for the slide, not the ride’.”

The vision is to spread the importance of a Cambodia with safer roads for all users, increased respect for motorcyclists and responsible riding when drivers hit the open roads.

Siem Reap Bike Meet will be held on Saturday at Box Ville, Siem Reap, from 11am to 11pm. For more information, visit Facebook page @srbmkh or 092 98 33 82.