The annual Shiny Side Up Festival featured an array of stunts and demonstrations. Photo: Jonty Dine.

Riders schooled on safety

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David Keilty believes all 52 fatal motorbike accidents on New Zealand roads last year were preventable.

In a bid to curb the carnage, Nelson bikers were schooled on motorbike safety at the annual Shiny Side Up Festival held at Saxton Fields on Sunday.

The Ride Forever programme manager says the number of biker fatalities is not acceptable and the festival was about looking at how to prevent them.

“We bring together everyone with an interest in motorbikes from clubs, retailers, police and enthusiasts and show them what is great about riding but also get them thinking about safety.”

He says it is crucial to keep the next generation of riders safe.

“We have a problem with the older generation and the ‘she’ll be right’ attitude. So what we don’t want to do is encourage those new riders to adopt that attitude.

The ACC-sponsored programme educates riders about protective equipment, technology and techniques.

“We have some of the top trainers in the country here.”

Dave says since the inception of Ride Forever, there has been a 20 percent reduction in injuries.

“We want riders to understand the risks and mitigate them.”

The Nelson biker community turned out in droves for the fourth annual festival which featured seminars, stunts, workshops and of course a mass of motorbikes.

“We have a really great population of riders here, there has been huge interest.”
He says the festival continues to get bigger and better.

“It’s been a fantastic event and hopefully we will be welcomed back next year.”

Nathan Wastney brought his biker-mad sons Liam, 5, and Harrison, 3, along to see some of the action.

Liam says the best part of the day was seeing the motorcycles do skids in the demonstration area.

Nathan says his boys have always been into bikes, while he has ridden all his life.

Liam says he loves motorbikes because they get you places quickly.