There are thrillseekers and then there is 105-year-old Ella Bayes going for a spin on the back of a Harley Davidson trike.
The Whangārei woman, who is a resident at Jane Mander Retirement Village, celebrated her 105th birthday yesterday with a sedate morning tea with all the trimmings - balloons, singing and cake.
But she will mark the occasion with a ride on a Harley Davidson three-wheeler in a couple of weeks' time.
Son-in-law Miles Brown said the ride had been Bayes' request.
"Her wish this year was to go for a ride of Harley Davidson because her first boyfriend had a Harley Davidson. Her last ride on a Harley Davidson was about 90 years ago."
Jane Mander activities coordinator Jazz Phillips is co-ordinating with a company in Paihia to take Bayes on the motor trike ride.
Bayes is no stranger to celebrating her birthday in an adventurous way. Last year she marked her 104th birthday by going parasailing in Paihia.
The Northern Advocate was there last year when she stepped back off the boat.
"I loved it, and I'd do it again," Bayes said at the time.
She has also been hot-air ballooning and gliding in the past.
Bayes was looking forward to the ride on the bike and thought it would be "very nice".
Brown said he thought his mother-in-law's secret to a long life was being stress free.
"Ella never stresses over anything and never has."
He said she has always been positive, never having a negative word to say about anyone or anything.
"It's all about attitude."
Bayes spent her early years at Red Beach, leaving school to work in her father's nursery business during the depression.
A keen traveller, she met her future husband Arthur on a Pacific Island cruise in 1939. They married and were dairy farmers until retirement.
Bayes had three children, but her son died. She has five grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.
She has always enjoyed exercise and even as she has slowed down she has kept up with walking, and taking part in seated exercise classes.
"I've always been on the go."
She had lived on her own in a two-story house in Auckland until she was 96 before moving north and into Jane Mander.
Phillips said Bayes made the staff and residents' days "so much brighter".
On her 100th birthday she got a card from Queen Elizabeth and even had a visit from then Prime Minister John Key while he was in town.
Jane Mander is home to four centenarians. As well as Bayes, there is Dorothy West and Mabel Redwood who are both 101. Audrey Parkinson turned 100 in March this year.
Currently the oldest person in Northland is thought to be Lena Walker, who is due to turn 107 in June at Radius Baycare in Haruru Falls, near Paihia. Hazel Fleming, who lives at Kauri Lodge in Kaeo, turned 104 in March.
As for how Bayes might decide to celebrate her birthday next year?
"God knows, I'm too scared to ask," Brown said.
Ten major world events in 1914, the year Ella Bayes was born:
February 2 – Charlie Chaplin makes his film debut, in the comedy short Making a Living.
March 10 – Suffragette Mary Richardson damages Velázquez' painting Rokeby Venus in London's National Gallery, with a meat chopper.
March 27 – Belgian surgeon Albert Hustin makes the first successful non-direct blood transfusion, using anticoagulants.
June 28, Assassination of Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austria-Hungary throne. Archduke Ferdinand and his wife had been inspecting Austro-Hungarian troops in occupied Sarajevo — this was the catalyst for World War I.
July 11 - Baseball legend Babe Ruth makes his major league debut, with the Boston Red Sox.
July 18 - Mahatma Gandhi leaves South Africa for the last time, sailing out of Cape Town for England, on board the S.S. Kinfauns Castle.
August 1 - The official outbreak of World War One as Germany declares war on Russia. New Zealand declares war on Germany on August 4.
August 8 - Sir Ernest Shackleton's Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition sets sail on the Endurance from England, in an attempt to cross Antarctica.
August 15 - The Panama Canal is inaugurated with the passage of the SS Ancon.
December 24 – World War I: An unofficial, temporary Christmas truce begins, between British and German soldiers on the Western Front.