Tranz Alpine Scooters05.10.2016
In ideal conditions the Tranz Alpine Scooter Safari set off for the fifth time from Christchurch across the Southern Alps to Hokitika. The goal of this biennial charity event is to complete a 252 kilometre ride over the main divide on a small city scooter and raise money for the New Zealand Cancer Society. As in previous years, the event struck a chord with a large number and the 250 registered rider spaces were quickly filled.
After the cold wintry blast that had swept up the country during the week, Saturday morning dawned fine and clear as riders, support crews and spectators (around 1,000 at the Park) assembled at the Mike Pero Motorsport Park. Riders included cancer patients, survivors, hospital/care workers and corporate teams, along with many hard core scooter and small motorcycle enthusiasts. They came from all walks of life and numerous locations both in New Zealand and across the Tasman, and ranged in age from young students to those in their 70’s. In keeping with the tradition that has grown around this event many wore fancy dress and the costumes were wide and varied.
The riders’ first stop was ‘The Famous Sheffield Pie Shop’ – a chance for a warm-up and a leg stretch and an opportunity to enjoy one of the hundreds of hot pies dispensed by the Shop.
Fabulous views, snow-covered Alps, sweeping vistas and a challenging Porters Pass climb followed. There were few mishaps, the odd bit of mechanical intervention and the necessity for a bit of ‘pushing’ on occasion, but still after eight hours on the road two hundred plus riders made it into Hokitika. Prizes were awarded for such things as Best Dressed Rider and Team, Best Presented Scooter, Oldest Scooter to make it, Most Uncomfortable Ride and Hard Luck Story – but the best result is the total of more than $750,000 that has been raised to date for the Cancer Society.
From Wayne May:
“Scooter Safari 2016, what a great day it was riding with Mike (aka crash) and support crew of Hamish Reid and Alex. Thanks to Jayne and Mike Rattray, it was the most well organised event I have been to and what a great cause.
“Thanks to all the people that supported Hamish and myself, we raised $1,737 for the Canterbury West Coast Cancer Society and in total we understand the event raised $174,000. To Hamish, thanks for riding the last leg into Hokitika, and here’s hoping your treatment goes well and kicks the Big C in the backside. We all have our fingers crossed for you and the family,” Wayne concluded.