members of the “Life Appreciation Club”, led by club president Akarapol
Yaram, pose for a photo with some members of the Burapha Motorbike Club.
Every year, Burapha Bike Week draws motorcycle clubs
from around Thailand to “drive for peace” in Pattaya. For some bikers,
the road here can be a bumpy one.
Akarapol Yaram, head of the Buriram Bike Club, is one
of those. He has led his “Life Appreciation Club” group to every
province in the kingdom. Along the way, members have been struck in
traffic, broken down and faced a public that sees only noisy motorcycles
and scruffy bikers instead of the goals behind their journey.
Akarapol said this month’s road trip to Pattaya was
aimed at raising funds for charity. That goal, however, is not apparent
to many, who complain about old, loud engines. Sometimes, however,
people are open to learning about the gang’s vehicles and logos.
Sometimes showing off their insignias even gets them through traffic
faster, he said.
The Buriram “Life Appreciation Club” has about 65
members and about 45 customized motorcycles. Akarapol urges his members
- and all drivers - to not drink and drive. In the case of his club, he
reminds the bikers they have to set a good example. Doing otherwise
would only damage the reputation of bike clubs and events such as
Burapha Bike Week, he said.