Not all ladies of her vintage celebrate their 97th birthday in quite the way Ngaire Fisher did.
A few days after a family do marked her May 5 birthday, Ngaire brought the eldest and youngest of her brood of eight to the Avantidrome to witness a pastime she now enjoys on a weekly basis at the facility – riding the trikes.
She’s been a member of the Avantidrome’s Community Trikes programme for 18 months. Coach René Eales said Ngaire was always enthusiastic and had steadily improved her times to 5km in around 45 minutes.
Watching her in action last week were her eldest and youngest sons, William and Peter Fisher. The opening of the trans-Tasman bubble allowed them to fly over from their homes in Australia to spend two weeks with their mum and other family members.
“The opening of the bubble was perfect timing for us, couldn’t have been better,” said Peter, adding that his mum’s birthday function on the day inadvertently became something of a family reunion.
Ngaire’s trike skills may well be eclipsed by the fact she is still so active after having produced three sets of twins sandwiched between William and Peter. She had eight children under the age of eight at one stage, and five under the age of three-and-a-half.
“I’ve never ridden bikes before this,” she smiled, “just horses. I used to ride my horse to and from school in Rata. That’s between Hunterville and Marton … it’s where I grew up.”
Ngaire then lived in Tokoroa for many years before settling into Cambridge life about five years ago.
The community trikes initiative is a highly regarded part of the Avantidrome’s community programme. It caters to new and experienced riders, some of them undergoing rehabilitation following injury or illness, some coming along for fitness in a safe and congenial environment.
René said the programme was increasingly popular, with 1500 riders logging in this term alone, across eight or nine sessions a day, five days a week.