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In the early 1970s, biker Eddy Garner had an "unforgettable" experience burning rubber with Burt Munro.
Mr Garner competed after Mr Munro on that occasion.
He remembered driving at full speed, when he saw something coming.
"I had to swerve to avoid Burt Munro coming the other way. So my first race meeting was very nearly my last one," he said.
There were no hard feelings; Mr Munro apologised with his traditional good humour.
"He came to me and said: ‘Sorry, young fellow. I thought you had to go both ways to qualify."’
It was the first of many meetings Mr Garner had with the "speed demon" who became an inspiration to him.
After the close encounter the men became good friends, and Mr Garner said he learned a lot from Mr Munro.
"He also was a lovely guy and very persistent. "
"It’s a shame all this ... you know being famous did not happen much when he was young. It was life before the internet ... I guess."
Mr Garner was born in Christchurch and moved to Invercargill when he was 16 to take up a job at a freezing works.
His passion for bikes began when he was just a boy — he bought his first motorbike at the age of 13.
"I had trouble getting to school with it because, of course, you needed a licence. "
When he was 21 he moved to Melbourne where he founded Aussie Bike Tours, the largest guided Harley Davidson and BMW motorbike tour company in the country.
He said in his most "crazy years" he owned as many as 100 motorbikes, but now he "just" had dozens.
What was his favourite?
"Probably a 1969 Bonneville [model]" which he said he had owned for longer than he had been married.
Next week, Mr Garner will bring together a group of 30 Australian riders to compete in the Burt Munro Challenge.
Mr Garner said his relationship with the motorbike legend, and his connection to Invercargill, remained strong after having attended yearly events back-to-back.
One of the most anticipated competitions in the challenge was the beach race.
"It’s ironic because we used to race at the beach with Burt. When we came back it is what we still liked to do. But the thing is now ... the police don’t chase us any more," he said.
There would also be a display of Harley Davidsons from the 1920s-1940s, as well as Indian bikes, on Wednesday outside E Hayes & Sons from 10am.
Logistically, bringing all the gear was not easy and it cost "many thousands" to do so — everything needed to be carefully packed in containers and shipped from Sydney to Christchurch.
When they arrived, the engines would be taken by van to Invercargill.
"It is a lot of work but everybody is so passionate. "
Mr Garner said this year’s event would be a special one for him.
"It will be my 50th year racing. It’s great fun. It’s like Burt ... would never consider not doing it. If you can do it, you keep doing it.
"It’s the excitement and the adrenaline — and it is quite addictive."