Terena set to face 278km trail in moped micro car

By Lin Ferguson, lin.ferguson@wanganuichronicle.co.nz

More than 60 riders on motor scooters from all over New Zealand will hit a 278km trail from Wanganui to Taupo in a charity fundraising event.

The organiser, Wanganui woman Terena Currey, said her task in the Central Plateau Scooter Challenge on March 16 was to drive a tiny 50cc Honda moped car.

"I've never driven one and it is really, really small."

Wanganui businessman Ed Boyd of H&A; Print is providing the miniature car and he will probably join the challenge in a second moped car.

"So we'll be like Tweedledum and Tweedledee," Mrs Curry said.

She said she would not actually get the moped car until the morning of the challenge. In the last challenge in 2011, she had ridden her scooter.

"So this will be very interesting."

The challenge also represented another "David and Goliath" style of battle, with Ms Currey pitting herself against drag racer and land speed record holder Alan Thoresen of Hamilton.

In 2011, Mr Thoresen rode his 1400cc Black Thunder II Kawasaki beast, but this year he will be on a 50cc machine. The current 2012 NZ drag racing champion and king of the Bonneville salt flats in Utah holds the record of 198.702 miles per hour on Black Thunder, his 1650cc motorcycle.

Even though the challenge was not a race, it certainly was an endurance ride from Wanganui to Taupo, Ms Currey said. The ride crosses the summit of the Rangipo Desert (1074m), a journey of over 278km to raise money for the Child Cancer Foundation during the foundation's national appeal month.

Ms Currey was driven to support the charity after a friend of a sick child told her about the help that the Child Cancer Foundation had given her.

"The families are supported by the foundation, there is no funding from Government. So I decided I had to help," she said. "Anyone can take part in the challenge, although I would prefer it if the scooters were as small as possible. It is, after all, a challenge.'

She is really hoping to better the $35,000 raised in 2011.

"So far the interest is great and it will keep building, with more riders coming in until the day."

The ride leaves Wanganui at 7.30am on March 16, and passes through Turakina, Bulls, Hunterville, Mangaweka, Taihape, Waiouru, Rangipo Summit, Turangi and Hatepe, finishing in Taupo.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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