Meet Ken Brierley: From customer to friend

It’s been just over 12 months since leaving my corporate job; and last week saw NZ Sidecar Tours reach the start line and open its doors to customers. Starting a new business from scratch has been an interesting journey up to now — there’s been times that I could’ve thrown the towel in. For example it’s taken us two months just to complete the paperwork needed to satisfy NZTA’s rules and regulations. So it’s fair to say that without my dear wife’s unwavering encouragement along with my passion and love for what we’re doing, I may not be writing this post.

Staying with the theme of loving what we’re doing brings me to the nub of this article. A couple of weeks ago I received an email from a local gentleman called Ken inquiring about a sidecar trip. He didn’t mind where we went but did mention that he’d limited mobility so a one hour trip would probably be enough. The one hour trip turned in to three hours in which Ken reminisced, wound back the years and soaked up the beautiful countryside in harmony with the gentle putt, putt, putt sounding the bike’s exhaust note.

Occasionally Ken would look across to the bike that was pulling us along and give it a long stare followed by an approving nod before telling me that he’d learned to ride a near identical bike many moons ago. Mid-way through our trip the weather worsened and although we were both rugged up warm and dry I suggested we stopped by a cafe in Waitoki to recharge our batteries over a slice of carrot cake and a cuppa.

When we returned home, Ken’s wife Freda greeted us with a delightful smile and lots of hugs. Her expression was simply one of joy in knowing that Ken had enjoyed his outing.

Ken and I are now on to something special — over the coming months he’ll be joining me as co-pilot when we embark on a series of Royal Enfield Club group rides. During our upcoming travels I hope we can wind back the clock again, share a few more stories and enjoy more than one or two laughs.

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