Bikers back road reopening with ride along coast

 Beatnik owner Mike Gilbert has organised a group of bikers to ride down to Kaikōura on Saturday.

Beatnik owner Mike Gilbert has organised a group of bikers to ride down to Kaikōura on Saturday.

Don't be alarmed if you see a pack of 40 to 60 bikers in leather jackets on Saturday, they don't mean any harm.

In fact, quite the opposite.

The group of motorcycle fans are riding to Kaikōura to celebrate State Highway 1 reopening.

 Mike Gilbert riding on State Highway 1, between Blenheim and Seddon.

Mike Gilbert riding on State Highway 1, between Blenheim and Seddon.

Beatnik owner and event organiser Mike Gilbert said he wanted to support the people of Kaikōura as the town had been relatively cut off since the 7.8-magnitude earthquake last November. 

 Samantha Warrender is co-owner of Beatnik Motorsport ltc.

Samantha Warrender is co-owner of Beatnik Motorsport ltc.

And biking there, and supporting local businesses, was the way to do it, he said. 

"I wanted to do something on the road opening," he said. "I thought it would be a really nice gesture."

A mix of male and female riders will leave Blenheim about 10.30am on Saturday and spend a few hours in the coastal town. 

Gilbert said it might help provide some traffic for other businesses in the town which could help improve morale. 

It would be the first time Gilbert, who moved to Marlborough from Canada this winter, had travelled to Kaikōura, from Blenheim, along State Highway 1.

Although, he had visited Kaikōura before and fell in love with the town, he said.

The group would make a stop in Clarence to regroup before riding on to Kaikōura together. 

There were about six to 10 riders travelling up from Christchurch to meet the group in Kaikōura. They would then travel on to Blenheim in the afternoon.

The bikies were planning to make a stop at the Pier Hotel in Kaikōura where some were staying.

There would be a rider leading the pack and someone tailing behind to help with any mechanical issues riders might experience along the way. 

Gilbert anticipated a slow trip to the town as the road reopened on Friday afternoon. 

 - The Marlborough Express

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