Quick to get the drift on mak­ing down­hill trikes

Central Otago Mirror - - NEWS - By SUE FEA

Nine Wakatipu young­sters have been on a fun eight-week con­struc­tion mis­sion build­ing down­hill drift trikes as part of a Wakatipu Youth Trust’s Youth Booth skills in­ter­est pro­gramme. Youth worker Nathan Bax­ter said the nine boys, aged 12 to 17, had learnt to weld, grind and spray paint, cour­tesy of Ar­row­town bike en­thu­si­ast John Potts. Mr Potts has been teach­ing the young­sters how to con­struct down­hill rac­ing drift trikes from old bike parts. ‘‘They’ve welded them and learned to work a grinder and painted them all up,’’ he said. Drift trikes were all the rage at present. ‘‘They’re like big kids’ trikes but made for teenagers.’’ The group made three trikes as well as a down­hill rac­ing cart and all were put to the test in a trial rac­ing run at Ben­de­meer last week. The boys hoped to en­ter the cart in the Ar­row­town Plun­ket down­hill race, which is sched­uled for ei­ther later this year or early next year, Mr Bax­ter said. A re­tired South­land farmer, Mr Potts is known for his trailer-load of mod­i­fied bikes and for teach­ing young­sters to ride uni­cy­cles and penny far­things. ‘‘He in­vests his time in teach­ing kids skills. ‘‘He reck­ons any dad who doesn’t let his kids play with his tools should be quar­tered,’’ Mr Bax­ter said. Queen­stown Engi­neer­ing pro­vided the group with safety gear, metal parts, and weld­ing and grind­ing discs. ‘‘The aim is to give youth skills for life. They learn to over­come dif­fi­cul­ties, work out prob­lems and stay mo­ti­vated to see the task fin­ished,’’ Mr Bax­ter said. It was a great way of in­tro­duc­ing young peo­ple to po­ten­tial ca­reer pos­si­bil­i­ties and get them ex­cited about de­vel­op­ing new skills, he said. ‘‘It’s about giv­ing them con­fi­dence and go­ing for­ward.’’ Other pro­grammes the Youth Booth has run have in­cluded cook­ing and pho­tog­ra­phy. Staff are plan­ning a pro­gramme on lead­er­ship for next year.

Photo: JAMES AL­LAN

Drifters: Mem­bers of the drift trike team who have been build­ing and rac­ing their own bikes. From left, youth worker Nathan Bax­ter, Dy­lan Kemp, 14, John Potts, of Bikes For Fun, Ben­jamyn Wiel-lake, 12, and Justin Tay­lor, of Queen­stown Engi­neer­ing.

On trial: Dy­lan Kemp, 14, tri­als a drift trike he helped con­struct at Ben­de­meer last week.

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