Tough scooter ride for good cause
‘‘This is going to be hard work for these tiny pistons.’’
Geoff Marshall might reach the glorious speed of 50kmh in a fundraising scooter ride - if he’s lucky.
Porirua City Council’s roading manager will join son Dave on Saturday in the biannual TranzAlpine Scooter Safari, a oneday fundraising event for the Cancer Society.
Billed as ‘‘not a race, or for the faint-hearted’’, 250 riders will start in Christchurch, cross the Southern Alps and end up in Hokitika many, many hours later.
It’s bound to be cold and uncomfortable, with scooters, such as the ones the Marshalls are riding, maxing out at 50kmh, but it is supposed to show support for the hardship those living with cancer go through during their treatment.
‘‘Ours are vintage scooters from about 1979 and I think we’ll average out at about 35 or 40kmh,’’ Marshall said.
‘‘This is going to be hard work for these tiny pistons, which are designed for pottering around town. Going over these hills, up and down, and something like Porters Pass will really put pressure on the bikes.’’
Marshall said he was ‘‘not unique or hard done by’’ when it came to cancer, as almost everyone has had family or close friends touched in some way by the disease.
His mother had three types of cancer by the end of her life, and his uncle also died of cancer.
The fundraising target for each rider was $500 and Marshall had made a solid start.
The event was also a chance for more father-son bonding on motorbikes, which the two enjoyed with a recent motorbike trip around north Vietnam.
Neither were new to bikes, but this would push the duo out of their comfort zone, Marshall said.
‘‘Dave has done a North Island [fundraising ride] version, from Taupo to Wanganui, and we had talked about doing the South Island one. I was keen on doing something different and for a good cause, so I can’t wait.’’
Marshall said he would be well-prepared for the ordeal, with thermals and waterproof clothing. He was looking forward to meeting people and seeing some of the costumes worn.
Nearly $600,000 has been raised since 2009 on safari rides across New Zealand.
Go to scootersafari.co.nz and click on ‘‘sponsor a friend’’ under the ‘‘donate’’ tab to help Marshall.
Geoff Marshall, left, and son Dave will be tackling the TranzAlpine Scooter Safari on September 10.