Burt Munro Challenge – Hill Climb
The Burt Munro Challenge got under way this morning on Bluff Hill with the Classic Motorcycle Mecca NZ Hill Climb Champs. The Challenge always promises to deliver motorcycle enthusiast and curious speed seekers alike with four days of entertainment and a vast array of bikes on display, both officially and unofficially. The streets are lined with bikes of all shapes and sizes, the roar of the engines can be heard from afar, music to the ears of those who are gathered to watch the events.
Burt Munro remains a prominent historical figure in Invercargill for setting the 1967 land speed record of 183.58mph, and still holding the 190.07mph fastest ever recorded on an Indian motorcycle, while maintaining his ingenuity and humorous nature. Burt was born in Edendale in 1899 and went on to set a number of New Zealand land speed records in the 1940s and 1950s. He was fabulously portrayed by Sir Anthony Hopkins in the 2005 movie, The World’s Fastest Indian.
The Burt Munro Challenge was created to honour Burt and his love for motorcycles and continues to grow each year in support from riders from all over New Zealand and from across the pond after its inaugural event in 2006.
I personally enjoy walking around, mingling with fellow spectators, riders, pit crew and everyone else who happens to be there, and watch the action on the course – and I don’t own a bike (or know much about them). The four day challenge is certainly something Southland should be proud of. I’ve just gotten back from a morning on Bluff Hill to watch the Classic Motorcycle Mecca NZ Hill Climb Champs before heading out later this evening to the Hirepool Twilight Drag Racing at Teretonga Park (6pm racetime, tickets available at the Invercargill i-SITE or at the gate). More info can be found at the BurtMunroChallenge.