Annie Howe and her husband cross the Maōri Ford bridge on new Harley-Davidson Pan America bikes on Friday. The bridge is no longer there.
Annie Howe was all set to shoot a Harley-Davidson promo in Marlborough’s Waihopai Valley when one of the worst floods in Marlborough’s history rained on her parade.
The Waihopai Valley resident, and motorcycle buff, had planned to put Harley-Davidson’s new Pan America bike through its paces on-road and off-road, to showcase the touring bike to New Zealand dealerships.
She had two photographers and two riders – her and her husband – set for a weekend of promotional activity when the rain came.
Howe did manage to get on the bike for a couple of pictures on the Māori Ford bridge on Friday though.
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On Saturday morning, with the rain getting heavier, the decision was made to postpone the promo. By late Saturday afternoon, the Māori Ford bridge was gone.
A temporary bailey bridge, from Canterbury, is a month away. And a new permanent bridge 18 months away.
Howe said she also had nine brand dealers scheduled to arrive on the Monday for a ride around the Waihopai Valley.
“We managed to do a few photos the day before the flood which was great,” the Harley-Davidson rep said.
Heavy rain on July 17, 2021, caused widespread damage in Marlborough.
“We called off the event on Saturday, because there was too much rain and safety comes first.”
Howe said most of her adult working life had been in the motorcycle industry, and it was her “passion”.
For the last three years, she had been contracted to Harley-Davidson Australia and New Zealand, working with ambassadors and dealerships and attending shows.
Harley-Davidson head of public relations Claire Pope said they had to adapt when the rain hit.
“We can’t control the weather, so we continue to work closely with everyone involved,” Pope said.