If anybody in Australia informed you one other Syd’s Run is arising, you may assume it has one thing to do with Sydney. Nonetheless, it occurs in Christchurch, New Zealand. One immediately is aware of one thing is up whenever you spot a gaggle of Honda C50s on the best way to the start line of the occasion on the periphery of Christchurch’s Central Enterprise District.
Syd’s Moped Run is held every November, simply earlier than New Zealand’s summer season kicks in. The run was began by Sydney James Falconer in 1995. Falconer ran the occasion for a few years on the Saturday that fell closest to his birthday. After he handed away, his son Keith continued to run it for a number of extra years.
“Dad was a tough man,” Keith informed us. “He wasn’t one for guidelines and rules. He rode bikes all his life, like Triumphs – biker’s bikes primarily – however as he acquired older, he moved again to the smaller stuff. Our household tried to provide him a celebration for his seventieth birthday, however he refused. As a substitute, he sat down along with his previous cronies from the classic automobile membership, and so they mapped out a moped run, which needed to be pedal-powered when it initially began.”
Falconer rode an previous 50cc Puch with pedals, or alternatively, his Ducati Cucciolo. He was an important one for specials, a tough case. Falconer ran the occasion for almost 20 years till his well being acquired the higher of him.
The entire spectacle is a good way for folks to get out on small bikes and luxuriate in themselves. Present organizer Aaron Card says the run is for anybody using small bikes, however he doesn’t thoughts for those who flip up on a Harley and take part. Trip it gradual and have time; that’s all that issues. Card says it’s by no means about velocity however moderately the folks, the mates, the camaraderie, and hanging out collectively.
Attendance is spectacular. On the twenty fifth anniversary run in 2020, organizers stopped counting once they reached 306 individuals leaving the beginning, with extra who saved becoming a member of in. It was a big leap from the very first run, which had about 45 riders.
And what a choice of equipment it normally is. Wandering via the group in the primary parking space and adjoining avenue parking for the overspill, an unlimited array of classic mopeds from the Massive 4 Japanese producers normally dominates the spectacle. It ranges from small Honda cafe racers with up-spec or aftermarket fitted horizontal engines to racing gasoline tanks to fancy Yoshimura exhaust work. I’ve seen pit bikes with suicide shifters, a ratty wanting Honda Hero Stream, and a 50cc Honda Turbo Z.
A few of these bikes belong to the native Quake Metropolis Rumblers, a moped membership that pines over modified basic Japanese mopeds and helps with marshalling duties on the occasion. Your eye may catch a rusty metallic panel lookalike scooter, maybe a Honda Joker or one thing of Aprilia origin, full with metallic chains hanging off it. One of many only a few Vespas I’ve noticed was modified to run on a slammed rear suspension. Had I not seen the scoot arrive earlier, I might’ve guessed it wasn’t rideable.
Honda Cubs in unique classic patina be part of forces with specials like a stretched Honda Cub with an extended chopper fork. Even the odd Honda CT110 “Postie” or farm bike normally blends in seamlessly. A Gandalf-like bearded fanatic willingly posed for an image for me, sitting on his classic Yamaha scoot, parked up near some classic Suzuki scoots and small-displacement Suzuki avenue or path bikes, together with a Suzuki AC50 Maverick from 1973.
Italy represented itself with an immaculately wanting Guzzi Stornello 160 and a Ducati 55, joined by some “cyclemotors”: bicycles with engines fitted to them on the body rails or on the rear service rack, akin to a Triumph-framed bike. Hell, even an previous Velosolex confirmed up, a moped massively fashionable in its day in Europe.
An Excelsior scooter joined ranks with a Mayfly Falcon from 1938, the latter parked with a “For Sale” signal. Close by, a Raleigh moped proudly displayed a small handwritten phrase: “In case you can’t be quick, be spectacular.” This catchphrase can simply describe the entire occasion in a single sentence. Extra classic European scoots rounded up the spectacle, together with a uncommon German-built 49cc Goericke Goerette from 1955, a Victoria from Nuremberg, and previous Puch from Austria.
There’s a massive social facet about the entire outing. Half the day is about consuming, having a drink, and speaking, and the opposite half of the day is about using the bikes. The journey stretches over 62 miles, completed in two components over Christchurch’s predominantly flat terrain over the span of about eight hours.
The primary half leads the individuals down Ferry Street towards the Christchurch Gondola to the Port Hills tunnel over to Lyttelton and its pure harbor, which is a caved-in extinct volcano crammed with sea water, then to Bridal Path Street, and on to the seaside settlements of Sumner and New Brighton (Quadrophenia, anybody?) to Thomson Park. Continuing from there, the cavalcade rides down Marshlands Street and through the suburb of Northlands again to the CBD, concluding within the interior metropolis’s Smash Palace outside pub for prizes and the next wrap-up.