Home' Central Canterbury News : March 13th 2013 Contents 8 CENTRAL CANTERBURY NEWS, MARCH 13, 2013
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Where do ageing bikers go?
Rangiora bikers: Canterbury scenery, great roads and climate are all perfect for a day's outing for
By JEFF LILLY
Convivial interests: TheR&Rclub provides the perfect environment for those
who have a wholesome approach to using motorcycles.
Just recently we took a trip to
Oxford to leave flowers on my Dad's
grave, and stopped for lunch. I
noticed two formidable looking
Harley Davidsons winking chrome in
the sunlight on the other side of the
road, and approaching one of them
was a middle-aged lady in street
clothes, carrying groceries. She
suddenly produced a leather jacket,
pants and a helmet, deftly slipped
into them, stowed her supermarket
purchases, and with a throaty roar,
accelerated into the main street. I
suppose I suffered one of those
moments when a casual assumption
One tends to think that people
who ride big motorbikes also sport
black-painted World War II German
helmets, chains, denim jackets with
skull and crossbones patches on the
back and long, tangled beards.
Nothing could be further than the
truth. There are a range of
motorcycle activities out there --
motocross, off-road, standards,
touring bikes, scooters -- but I guess
what we are talking about are
cruisers, and you don't have to be a
member of a gang to enjoy these. I
tracked down a group of enthusiasts
based in Rangiora and talked to an
active member, Murray Dunlop, and
just by chance a founding member,
Neil (Haggis) McRae, a project
manager for Wormalds who is
visiting from Australia.
The group is calledR&R,
originally standing for Rangiora
Riders. Nowadays, both men tell me,
it could stand for 'Rest and
Recreation', but without very much
small group of Rangiora enthusiasts,
and they based themselves in the
original Southbrook Hotel. Funding
came from gaming machines and
there was a community support
element right from the beginning,
buying cycle helmets for school
children and helping out St John
In 2005 they moved to a new club
base at the 'Mak' Bar at Kainga on
the Main North Rd.
Membership is around the 60
mark with ages ranging from late
20s to late 60s.
About 15 per cent of the
membership is women, aged from
their 30s up to 50s.
There are a range of professions
represented; tradesmen as well as
There are also a range of bikes
used -- mainly Harley Davidsons but
also Triumphs, some Japanese
makes and even collectibles. Many
members own more than one bike.
These are people who have a
wholesome approach to the joy of
''We are a group of people who
thoroughly enjoy motorbikes and
motorcyclists,'' says Murray Dunlop.
''We are pleased that we have the
opportunity to clear up any
The group has a programme of
day excursions which take members
throughout North Canterbury,
Selwyn and Banks Peninsula, some
two to three day rides and even
treks to the North Island.
Meetings are monthly and are
formally organised, while the club
itself is laid back in terms of its
''The only rule is there are no
rules,'' says Neil McRae.
There doesn't need to be, as
members are sensible and fun-
loving but responsible.
After all, there is an old saying,
''Grey haired bikers don't get that
way through pure luck!''
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