Monday 20th & Tuesday 21st August: The tracks are closed on Mondays & Tuesdays.

Bridging the Divide

70 Years Young

maddix park mx

 

The day was humid and damp, the track slippery and wet, but Peter Gibson from Whakatane was undaunted. He had just acquired a new second hand bike and had to test it out, absolutely immediately.

Sound like a kid on his birthday? Well, big surprise. When he zoomed in for a pit stop, he removed his helmet to reveal a shock of thick white hair. Yes, Peter is 70 years young and has recently got back into motorcycling after a break of 35 years.  Way back then he rode with his kids on an old TT250 that he sold when they left home.  However, future son-in-law, Ross Johns, came along and convinced him it was time to bridge the generation divide, join the grandkids and get back on 2 wheels again. 

Not that Peter needed much convincing.  Nor had he been idle in the intervening years. The retired electrician has always been physically active with parachuting, heaps of tramping over all of NZ’s famous tracks, skiing, mountain biking, rock ’n’ roll, sequence dancing and the list goes on  Now he’s back on a YZ250  - faithful to the Yamaha brand - and hooked once more. His overall fitness has made the transition easy.

Peter, of course, remembers the days when you could go off and ride anywhere in the forest blocks. This is no longer the case but there are plenty of organized rides around. Just look on  www.silver-bullet.co.nz or in the dirt bike mags www.kiwirider.co.nz and www.drd.co.nz  . So far, Pete’s done a couple of the charity trail rides around Pikowai and Matata and ridden here at Maddix Park.

 ”I love the thrill, the challenge,” he beams, “love getting into the bush, love getting out there doing it, it’s full on, it keeps me alert”.  Peter is going to take some keeping up with. “I get these calls, “ laughs Ross,” what’s on this weekend? Where are we going?”  

Both men agree that trail riding is a great family activity – the family that plays together stays together. 

Peter is a dynamic septuagenarian. It is a pleasure, also, to meet a person who can appreciate the pleasure of the outdoors on both foot and on wheels and who bridges the divide between these sometimes irreconcilable “camps”.

May he ride long and well.

 
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