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 scoot­er­sa­ 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.

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