After travelling much of the South Island on Triumph Bonnevilles, the seven Gilbert brothers, (from left) Mark, David, Andy, Joseph, John, Steve and George, line up at the Dunedin Railway Station yesterday. Photo by Peter McIntosh.
Seven brothers from the United States touring the South
Island riding classic Triumph motorcycles on ''a trip of a
lifetime'' have been struck by the island's natural beauty
and the warmness of the people.
The Gilbert brothers, from Connecticut, rolled into Dunedin
yesterday afternoon, six days into an 11-day tour on
mid-1970s Triumph Bonnevilles supplied by Hawea-based Classic
The oldest brother, George, who collects Triumphs, said there
was no better way to see the country.
All seven, plus a family friend who had joined them on the
trip, had been impressed by both the scenery and the
friendliness of New Zealanders, he said.
''The country is beautiful and the people in it are
beautiful,'' Mr Gilbert said.
Highlights of the trip included riding through Arthurs Pass,
which he called ''absolutely stunningly beautiful'', and
riding down the West Coast.
''Today was the first traffic light we have had all week.
This is day six.''
The brothers had ridden together in the US, but never ''gone
away to a foreign land and done something like this''.
Their shared love of motorcycles kept the brothers close.
They left three non-motorcycling brothers and a sister at
home. John Gilbert said the tour was a ''trip of a life
time'' for the men.
Classic Motorcycle Tours director Dallas Boag, who drives in
a support van, said the brothers were a ''charming bunch''
who knew how to entertain each other.
''They have certainly developed a passion for New Zealand
wine,'' she said.