Postie bikes, mopeds, scooters and vespas are revving up their engines and taking to the back roads of Central Otago the name of heritage.
The Otago Goldfields Heritage Trust (OGHT) are holding the inaugural Central Otago Postie Bike Rally in Cromwell next month.
Riders will cover a 309km circuit through country rarely travelled on, riding on gravel roads in various conditions as well as navigating a stream crossing, farm gates and stock, and of course, a good old country pub.
OGHT committee member John Wekking came up with the idea when the trust was looking to do something a bit different and fun as a fundraiser.
The Postie Bike Rally fitted the bill.
Postie bikes have developed a niche following in the motorcycle world recently.
Affectionately known as a “postie bike” due to being the bike of choice for New Zealand Post and Australia Post for deliveries, the Honda CT110 is easy and cost effective to ride.
Postie bike rallies have popped up throughout New Zealand and Australia in recent years as a fun challenge for enthusiasts.
Mr Wekking, himself the owner of a 2021 Honda postie bike, said the bikes appealed to a range of people.
“They run on the smell of an oily rag and go anywhere if you have the time,” Mr Wekking said.
“They’re nice and easy to ride, and you get to see the countryside – you’re not ripping through at 110km an hour.”
While he had not undertaken a postie bike rally before, previously there had been a Cromwell-based group which organised week-long rallies, he said.
Next month’s Central Otago rally was not limited to just postie bikes, but would be open to riders on scooters, Vespas and bikes up to 150cc.
OGHT event co-ordinator Terry Davis said the rally was quite different from other events organised by the trust – OGHT organise the annual Cavalcade – but maintained heritage links by travelling through areas of historic interest in the region.
The circuit would be different each time the event was run (every two years), he said.
And while it may sound challenging, the circuit would be able to be navigated by smaller bikes, as well as being fun.
“Riders will quite often be on gravel roads – some people have been put off thinking we’re going to be sending them over Mt Pisa,” he said.
OGHT project manager and treasurer Odette Hopgood-Bride said the event was designed to run under Level 2 conditions, with proceeds from the rally going towards the John Douglas Memorial Fund.
Mr Douglas had been an active member of the OGHT and after his passing his family requested people give to the trust in lieu of flowers.
The memorial fund was established for heritage projects such as signage throughout the region, Mrs Hopgood-Bride said.
The Central Otago Postie Bike Rally will begin in Cromwell on November 13.
Riders can register here.