Historic bikes in 50th rally

Ray McCulloch (left), of Invercargill, and son Ross, of Christchurch, in Buckingham St, Arrowtown...
Ray McCulloch (left), of Invercargill, and son Ross, of Christchurch, in Buckingham St, Arrowtown, on Saturday. Photo: David Williams.
A slice of motorcycling history has been made at a historic Queenstown-Lakes goldmining village.

The Southland Vintage Car Club celebrated its 50th Arrowtown motorcycle rally on Saturday,  and 80 riders  donned their leathers for the ride from Lumsden.

Two of the riders, aged in their 80s, were involved in the very first ride.  Of the original 12 riders, they are part of a quartet who are still alive.

Eight of the original bikes from 1967 were displayed at Arrowtown’s Athenaeum Hall on Saturday night.

Invercargill’s Ray McCulloch (62) has missed only one rally in 40 years — because of the wedding of his son,  Ross, in Wanaka in 2011.

Both he and Ross attended Saturday’s ride.

Mr McCulloch sen rode a 1911 Abingdon King Dick, made in Birmingham, England, which has been in the family for about 60 years.

How does it handle on the open road?

"Yeah, cautiously," Mr McCulloch laughs.

"It’s geared for about  35 miles an hour, flat out."

He added: "From Five Rivers, up through there, it was a wee bit wet — but coming round the lake, it was magic. But ... that lake road’s getting rough."

Mr McCulloch won the Bevars and Lois Binnie Trophy, for best effort by a veteran motorcyclist.

He also  won the veteran field test (for bikes between 1900 and 1919) and  was second in the road section.

Son Ross (36), of Christchurch, astride a 1960 Triumph Tiger 110, was second in the postwar motorcycle field test.

The rally’s overall winner was David Sycamore, who was riding a 1976 Yamaha.


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