Scooter riders thrilled to be back on the road

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Safety first . . . The Scooter Division co-organiser Mark Baxter models Covid-19 safety measures he supplied for a ride in his Suzuki SJ50QT. PHOTOS: SHAWN MCAVINUE

A Dunedin scooter run was full of surprises on Sunday.

The Scooter Division is a casual group for riders of scooters, small motorcycles and mopeds, who go on runs around Dunedin.

Division co-organiser Mark Baxter billed the latest run as the “Mad May Level 2 Surprise Rideout”, as it was the first run since Covid-19 restrictions had lifted.

To meet Level 2 restrictions, riders were asked to:

  • Provide contact details for tracing.
  • Maintain a 1m distance from each other.
  • Use hand sanitiser regularly.
  • Ride in a pack of no more than 10 people.

At the run’s starting point in Crawford St, 13 riders met – enough to force the formation of two packs.

But the pack was down to a dozen riders when Mr Baxter realised he got a flat tyre on the way there.

When asked about his feelings of missing the first run back after a long wait in lockdown he groaned.

“I’d been super looking forward to it.”

The original plan was to ride to the Royal Albatross Centre on Otago Peninsula, but the route changed when division founder Peter Brookland’s Honda C50 failed to start in Crawford St.

Running repairs . . . The Scooter Division founder and co-organiser Peter Brookland attempts to repair his modified 1971 Honda C50 in Crawford St on Sunday.

Run participant Dave Baird, of Mosgiel, offered Mr Brookland one of his modified motorbikes to ride.

He had a spare scooter made from “bits and bobs”, including the back end of a Honda Club 110, the front end of a Honda CT125 and a tank, seat and engine from a Thumpstar.

“Bits and bobs” . . . The Scooter Division participant Dave Baird and two of his modified motorbikes on a run stop in Outram on Sunday.

The catch was it needed to be picked up from his home in Mosgiel, so the run destination was modified to lunch at the Black Swan Cafe, Waihola.

Mr Brookland rubbed a squirt of sanitiser in his hands and became a pillion passenger to Mosgiel.

On the way, run participant Marco Seifert-Simpson (riding a 1984 Yamaha Passola) and his friend left the pack, reducing numbers to 10 riders.

On the run, Mr Baird rode a modified Honda C50.

He crashed the modified machine during the division’s Founders Day Ride to Waihola in October last year.

Waiting for slower riders, he decided to do a doughnut in a gravel pit near State Highway 1 near Waihola but “it dug in and spat me off”.

He rode his bike for the rest of the run with a broken shoulder, and the ride on Sunday was his first since that crash.

To make the most of the sunny Sunday, the pack returned to Dunedin via Taieri Mouth.

Mr Brookland said the ride was one of the more “interesting” runs.

“It evolved through the day and breakdowns forced a change of plans, but it’s been a good fun.”