Burt the Badass

March 21, 2012 by Jeramie

In the morning we woke up to realize, our freedom camping spot, was smack dab in the middle of a golf course! Cheers to whoever kept this place open to people for camping, because I know damn well that wouldn’t happen in the States.

We headed back to Invercargill, to continue with some necessities (shopping, showers, internet etc.), and spent a bit of time cruising their museum housed in a huge pyramid. There were a few very cool masks, some stuffed local fauna, and a few other things of interest, but really it was all about Burt Monro.

An old film of Burt played down near the lobby in a small theater, and there was a room of photographs, and a working replica of his old Munro Special 1920 Scout that broke the speed record.

Known from the film, The World’s Fastest Indian, and of course for his actual accomplishment of breaking the world land speed record, Burt Monro was a bonafide bad ass. The dude broke the record with what at that time was a pretty old motorcycle, which he had tinkered with to push it’s limits FAR beyond it’s original design, breaking the record, and then breaking his own record the following year.

One of the best tidbits I learned was a little story told in the film. After Burt broke the speed record, he was still in the US, Massachusetts I believe, and feeling quite ill. He happened upon a town with a hospital, and stopped in. They ran a few tests, and alerted him that he was in fact QUITE ill, and that he should definitely sign himself in to stay at the hospital. He responded by asking their rate per day. Upon hearing the figure (which I don’t recall), he picked up his coat, turned around and said, “thanks, but I’ll die in my car” as he left the building. Although he did die fairly young, it was long after that day, back in his home country of New Zealand.

Posted in New Zealand |

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