Cycling father and son (from left) Steve and Bill McGavock were in Dunedin yesterday on their cycle journey from Havelock North to Bluff. Photo by Peter McIntosh.
An 86-year-old man cycling from Hawkes Bay to Bluff stopped
in Dunedin yesterday as he repeated a journey he made almost
70 years earlier to save paying for a bus ticket.
Havelock North resident Bill McGavock said he departed the
Hawkes Bay town on January 20 and hoped to be in Bluff on
''I just though I'd like to do it again before I get too
Mr McGavock cycled a return trip from Hastings to Bluff with
a mate when he was 17 years old, in 1943, he said.
''I was born in Invercargill and I wanted to come down and
couldn't afford a bus ticket so we hopped on the bike.''
The biggest differences between the journeys were where the
Wellington ferry dropped him off and that this trip was
one-way, Mr McGavock said.
''In 1943 there was no Picton ferry, so we came into
Lyttelton in the old Rangatira and we rode back again the
He stopped cycling after his teenage years but began again in
2007 when friends suggested they tried the Otago Central Rail
Trail, he said.
''I hadn't biked from my teenage days until I was 81''After
cycling the rail trail he was ''hooked'' on cycling and
bought a bike, he said.
Mr McGavock said his son Steve (60) was riding with him
during the trip.
''He's looking after the old man.''
Steve McGavock said they had a support vehicle, but only
travelled in it when they had stopped cycling for the day:
''If we're going to the pub or something.''
They usually rode about 80km a day, but the 59km day from
Oamaru had been the ''toughest,'' Bill McGavock said.
He planned to leave Dunedin for Balclutha this morning, be in
Gore on Saturday and Invercargill on Sunday to make the final
leg to Bluff on Monday.