Bannockburn prepares for biker invasion
On Saturday (Feb 1) the quiet Central Otago township of Bannockburn will throb to the sound of more than 65 motorcycles.
But this is no bike gang intent on setting up headquarters in the historic Bannockburn Hotel... aka The Banny. No, these are motorcycling enthusiasts from all walks of life and from all over New Zealand. Their reason for riding into Bannockburn is the third annual Bike Week @ Bannockburn. From relative small beginnings, Bike Week’s unique format of being New Zealand’s only week long event catering to both road riders and adventure enthusiasts has firmly established it on the country’s motorcycling calendar. Dave Moreton, a member of the organising committee, is not surprised at the event’s steady rise in popularity. ‘‘Bannockburn, Cromwell, Central Otago and the Southern Lakes, where else in the country can you so easily access amazing road biking and truly stunning off road adventuring,’’ enthused David. ‘‘On four of the six days we run rides for registered participants and for locals or other motorcyclists who want to join in. ‘‘The cost to them is $20 per ride and they can even camp the night.‘‘ Zealand’ which carries the sub title ’A Kiwi’s guide to the top 50 rides in the land of the long white cloud.’ Mike has an amazing sense of humour on paper and in person.’’ The organising committee has also been able to put together a museum visit and track ride at Highlands Motorsport Park on the Tuesday at 5.30pm. This also carries an open invitation for motorcycling locals to join in. or $50 with a pillion. As a final word Dave Moreton says the organisers also hope locals will show southern hospitality by coming along to band performances at The Banny to mix and mingle with visiting motorcyclists. A gold coin donation will get you in.
Cost is $35
Dave is keen to point out that Bike Week is very much a ’ You’re Invited’ event, even to the extent of organisers putting on a Pushbikekhana skills challenge for local kids and kids at heart. This is in the paddock opposite The Banny and starts at 10am on Sunday. Also for locals is a 65 bike ride-past that starting outside The Banny at 12.30 takes in Cromwell Old Town, Alpha St, Neplusultra St, Barry Ave, The Mall, Waenga Drive, Gair Ave, Cemetery Road, SH 6 and Pearson Road. Guest speakers are another feature of Bike Week that the organising committee hope will appeal to locals. ‘‘This year on Monday night we have Peter McIntosh of the Motorcycle Safety Advisory Council that under the name of Moto NZ, Motorcyclists Own The Options, delves into such issues as are Kiwi riders actually having more accidents. ‘‘This is an ideal opportunity for all local riders to get a clearer understanding on what’s going on,’’ explained Dave. ‘‘On a more entertaining level, Wednesday night we have motorcycle touring author Mike ’Twisting Throttle’ Hyde who turned a mid-life crisis motorcycling holiday into a blog that became a book; the first of three. ‘‘He’ll be talking about his latest, ’ Twisting Throttle New