No ride is too far for his bro
Because he’s my brother. That’s David Visser’s reason for motorcycling the length of the country on Waitangi weekend.
The Tawa man, who has been riding for 30 years, will cover 2000 kilometres from Bluff to Cape Reinga on his 2007 Suzuki GSX 1400 to raise money to help his ailing brother.
Wilf Visser, who lives in South Africa, was diagnosed with motor neuron disease in 2010.
‘‘It’s one of the worst [diseases] you can have. It attacks you physically,’’ David Visser said.
He said when he learned of his brother’s illness, the first thing he did was return to South Africa, his former home country, which he had not visited in 12 years.
‘‘For two and a half weeks [Wilf and I] reminisced. We’d caught up before on Skype but we knew this was different; we both knew that this would be it.’’
He said he knew he wanted to help take care of his brother, even though he was in New Zealand.
‘‘His wife’s family has been fantastic, but he’s my brother, so I had to visit and I help out every month with carer costs.’’
Last June, while competing in the Brass Monkey motorcycle rally, he had the urge to do more. ‘‘I thought, ‘I can do something with riding and helping him’.
‘‘I came home with this idea that maybe I could ride somewhere.
‘‘ I went to some marketing people and said, ‘I don’t have a creative bone in my body but I can ride. All I want to do is help my brother.’’’
Before Visser knew it, he had posters and a promotional video.
‘‘I worried – ‘What if no-one gets involved?’ But it’s been the opposite.’’
His workplace, church and family had been fantastic, he said.
‘‘ I’m quite consumed with biking as it is, then this thing with my brother came up. My wife has been so supportive. She’s my anchor. She knows I’m bike berserk.
‘‘To me there’s nothing more exciting than getting on a bike and knowing all I have to do today is ride.’’
Visser has invited other riders to join him along the journey but for one man that wasn’t enough.
Tony Hunt, from Wairarapa, intends to accompany him the entire way on his 2003 V600 Cruiser.
Most of the money Visser raises will go to his brother, but a third will be donated to the New Zealand Motor Neuron Disease Association.
And what does Wilf Visser think about escapades?
‘‘He’s got this saying ‘sack of potatoes’ and he’s referring to the lump in his throat. [What I’m doing] just overwhelms him. He just says, ‘Huge sack of potatoes’.’’
Wilf Visser, who is now in a wheelchair, was a top cyclist and
brother’s runner and twice represented South Africa at the Commonwealth Games.
To follow the ride, visit facebook.com/fortheloveofmybrotherwilf. To donate, visit givealittle.co.nz/cause/ fortheloveofmybrotherwilf.
Man on a mission: David Visser, who will shortly ride the length of New Zealand to raise money for his sick brother.