Oa­maru's ride-on moa

Otago Daily Times - - Front Page - HAMISH MA­CLEAN

PHOTO: HAMISH MA­CLEAN

HOW fast can a moa go?

North Otago artist Matt King is about to find out.

Com­mis­sioned by For­rester Gallery, North Otago Mu­seum and Waitaki Dis­trict Ar­chive di­rec­tor Jane Mack­night to make Cul­ture Waitaki a ‘‘moa bike’’ for the Waitaki Arts Fes­ti­val in Oa­maru, just like Mr King’s moa sculp­ture at Dun­troon, the moa bike was made from ob­jects he ‘‘found’’ in his back­yard. It has a Honda XL 105 frame, the neck is made from horse­shoes and re­bar and the head is a ro­tary hoe.

‘‘I think if a moa was a bike, it would look like this,’’ Mr King said.

Built in about 40 hours over the past three weeks, it lacked a mo­tor One could be added, Mr King said, but at present the bike had no brakes.

Mr King’s moa bike, which is ac­tu­ally a tri­cy­cle, had its first ‘‘of­fi­cial out­ing’’ last night at The Big Bike Film Night & Blues Bar, at the Oa­maru Opera House, but he planned to ride it from We­ston to Friendly Bay on the Waitaki Arts Fes­ti­val’s fi­nal event, Art on Bikes, on Oc­to­ber 8.

He called the ex­tinct birds ‘‘spe­cial, unique and weird’’.

‘‘They’re just crazy crit­ters,’’ Mr King said. ‘‘It’s a shame they’re gone, but I’m do­ing my best to bring them back.’’

Ms Mack­night said when she asked Mr King to make the bike she had no ex­pec­ta­tions as to how it would turn out.

‘‘I love it,’’ she said. ‘‘I think the only bit that I had vi­su­alised was the fact that I knew Matt had bought a fly­ing cap. The only thing I had vi­su­alised is this fly­ing cap sort of flap­ping un­der great speed.’’

hamish.ma­clean@odt.co.nz

Heavy metal pedal moa . . . Matt King sees a lot of rub­ber­neck­ers th­ese days, when he takes his moa bike on Oa­maru streets.

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