Easy Riders - An exhibition of historic bicycles, motorcycles, photographs and memorabilia

Easy Riders - An exhibition of historic bicycles, motorcycles, photographs and memorabilia

Friday, December 02, 2011

Easy Riders: South Taranaki on Two Wheels is an exhibition about freewheeling, freedom and motorcycles in our district. 

The title was inspired by the 1969 film EasyRider which tells the story of two bikers, played by Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper, travelling through the American Southwestand South.

Motorcycles embody freedom. They encapsulate the image of stretching limits, breaking boundaries, forward thinking and youthful rebelliousness – all qualities that are reflected in the spirit of South Taranaki.

Motorcycles were a feature of life in South Taranaki from the early years of the twentieth century. Their popularity and availability was much increased after World War II. The versatility and myriad uses of motorcycles and scooters on the farm and in the town ensured a supportive public for races and other events.

The Pātea TT races were held at Whenuakura from 1948 to 1955. Although they drew crowds of up to three thousand, the spectator numbers caused the organisers, the Wanganui Motorcycle Sports Club, to decide not to hold any further meetings. Local identities such as Curly Mickleson, 1954, and Rod Coleman, 1955, were popular winners.

The Easy Riders exhibition will feature motorcycles and bicycles, as well as memorabillia related to their history in the district. Most of the objects are from the collection. It will tell a uniquely South Taranaki story that has universal appeal, particularly to those with an interest in motor sport and things mechanical.

During the exhibition younger visitors will have a chance to piece together a large wall puzzle to identify a local motorcycle hero. There will be also be drawings available to colour in.

The exhibition runs from Friday 23 December to Sunday 1 April 2012 at Aotea Utanganui Museum of South Taranaki, 127 Egmont Street, Pātea.

Information about events and exhibitions can be found at www.southtaranaki.com

- ENDS –

Pictured: Rod Coleman after winning the Junior at Pātea, 1951, Aotea Utanganui Museum of South Taranaki Collection PH2011.0031.