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26th September 2017 by Shirin

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Machine Made Fun

GERHARDT AND ADELHEID GLEISSNER of the Abu Dhabi Exiles Motorcycle Club ride bikes not only for the thrill of it but also for a good cause Gerhardt Gleissner and his wife Adelheid, whip up the dusty desert roads clad in all black - the helmets, eye shades, gloves and boots - on their Harley Davidson bikes.  The Abu Dhabi based couple are members of the Abu Dhabi Exiles Motorcycle Club (M.C.).

"Guess black goes well with the logo of our club," says Gerhardt, who is on the board of the Exiles Committee as safety officer.  His wife Adelheid jokes, "Black makes him look slimmer."

What do they enjoy about biking?  Adelheid, the proud owner of 883 Sportster says, "Riding makes me feel younger and enables me to absorb the beauty of the countryside; I also get to socialise with people of different nationalities and age groups from motorcycles clubs in Oman, Dubai, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia."

Says Gerhardt, "There is nothing more exhilarating, than to see a group of bikers riding in staggered formation on the open road." The couple are not new to the biking scene.  Gerhardt got his license 15 years ago, while Adelheid was a pillion-rider for three years, then she hit the road on her own bike.  They used to ride in Germany and now enjoy riding over the sand dunes in the UAE.

Adelheid says, "Our aim is to put the Exiles M.C. motto into action [i.e.] "Ride Safe and Often."  So we ride once a week, in and around Abu Dhabi.  Then we have long rides to Oman three or four times a year and occasionally ride to other emirates.  In total, we clock in 12,000km annually."

So, what is the Exiles M.C. all about?  Pat comes the reply from Adelheid, "The Exiles M.C. Is a non- profit organisation whose aim is to promote motorcycling.  In addition, we organise charitable events for the less privileged.  To date, we have donated money and toys to a hospital in Kenya and organised a Toy Run to a hospital in Dubai.  I would to encourage the public and the corporate world to donate to the needy"

The idea of a Toy Run is to buy stuffed toys, strap it on to the bike and ride to the venue where the toys will be donated to children.  Exiles M.C. is organising a Toy Run for physically challenged children in Abu Dhabi at the end of summer.  At present, the club boasts 75 members from 16 countries and all sorts of bike brands.  Not bad for a group that started out only a year ago.

The fundamental thing for the Gleissner's is "to enjoy what we like best. That's riding on our roaring "iron horses" with those who share the same passion."

Preethi Janice D'Sa
Friday Magazine, Gulf News,