"We don't want to be burying anymore brothers or bike riders".

That is the message from Sons of the Southern Cross Mackay President Ken "Smiley" Hyde who is urging motorists to take more care on the roads.

The club unveiled two memorials at Handlebar Heaven at the weekend following a tribute ride with more than 80 motorcycle riders from all backgrounds and allegiances.

They rode to honour former president Wes "Pop" Carlton as well as raise awareness about their fallen brothers.

Pop died in a tragic crash while riding with Mr Hyde and four other members in Kyogle, New South Wales on October 20 last year.

The memorial wall signed by Sons of the Southern Cross Mackay members and other friends and family for fellow late member Wes
The memorial wall signed by Sons of the Southern Cross Mackay members and other friends and family for fellow late member Wes "Pop" Carlton at Handlebar Heaven, Ooralea. Picture: Heidi Petith

Mr Hyde, whose leg was fractured in the crash, has had three operations since and now relies on a walking stick.

"The car came over the rise on the wrong side of the road - we were sitting ducks," he said.

"I'll never be able to walk properly.

"My foot's full of steel holding it all together."

The memorial created by Sons of the Southern Cross Mackay members for fellow late member Wes
The memorial created by Sons of the Southern Cross Mackay members for fellow late member Wes "Pop" Carlton at Handlebar Heaven, Ooralea. Picture: Heidi Petith

A memorial dedicated to Pop now takes pride of place in the entrance of Handlebar Heaven.

The memorial at Handlebar Heaven, Ooralea, created by Sons of the Southern Cross Mackay members for fellow late member Wes
The memorial at Handlebar Heaven, Ooralea, created by Sons of the Southern Cross Mackay members for fellow late member Wes "Pop" Carlton who died in a tragic crash in Kyogle, New South Wales on October 20 last year. Pictured are SOSS members Ted "Bubbles" Walters, James "Knuckle" McGovern, President Ken "Smiley" Hyde and Josh "Professor" Van Loenen. Picture: Heidi Petith

It is fashioned out of the handlebars from his Harley Davidson and cloaked by his riding leathers with a Kirk Lemonade in the pocket - Pop's favourite.

More stories:

'Family' rides to honour 'Pop' who died in tragic crash

Listen to your elders: 5 unforgettable life tips

Letters to the editor: Roadside tributes more powerful than safety signs

And out the back is "The Fallen" wall erected for every lost rider, centred with a hibiscus plant with white flowers.

"The Fallen" is a memorial wall unveiled at Handlebar Heaven, Ooralea at the weekend for all of the motorcycle riders who have lost their lives doing what they love. Pictured are Sons of the Southern Cross Mackay members Ted "Bubbles" Walters, Ken "Smiley" Hyde (who was injured in a crash last year), James "Knuckle" McGovern and Josh "Professor" Van Loenen. at Handlebar Heaven, Ooralea. Picture:

SOTSS member Ted "Bubbles" Walters said anyone who had lost a motorcycle rider was welcome to have a plaque placed on the wall which was blessed at the weekend.

"We had grown men standing here crying," Mr Hyde added.

"There wasn't a dry eye in the house."

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Sons of the Southern Cross Mackay members and
Sons of the Southern Cross Mackay members and "brothers", James "Knuckle" McGovern and President Ken "Smiley" Hyde at Handlebar Heaven, Ooralea. Picture: Heidi Petith

Mr Hyde said riders dying on the roads was not frustrating, it was "tragic".

"The pain never goes away," he said.

"We lost three members out of our club last year to motorcycling accidents."

The club has fewer than 100 members nationwide.

Sons of the Southern Cross Mackay member James
Sons of the Southern Cross Mackay member James "Knuckle" McGovern proudly but sadly rides with the names of fallen riders on his leathers. Picture: Heidi Petith

SOTSS member James "Knuckle" McGovern said drivers must look up, pay attention and be vigilant about their vehicle's blind spots.

"Truck drivers look down and see people on their phones all the time," Mr McGovern said.

Sons of the Southern Cross Mackay members Josh
Sons of the Southern Cross Mackay members Josh "Professor" Van Loenen and Ted "Bubbles" Walters. Picture: Heidi Petith

"It's not a bloody phone booth," Mr Walters added.

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