No ride is too far for his bro

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By EMMA BEER

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

his

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.

Photo: EMMA BEER

Man on a mis­sion: David Visser, who will shortly ride the length of New Zealand to raise money for his sick brother.

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