Annie Howe and her husband cross the Maōri Ford Bridge on new Harley-Davidson Pan America motorcycles on Friday. The bridge is no longer there.
Annie Howe was set to shoot a Harley-Davidson promo in the Waihopai Valley in Marlborough when one of the worst floods in Marlborough history rained down on her parade.
The Waihopai Valley resident and motorcycle enthusiast had planned to put Harley-Davidson’s new Pan America bike to the test on and off the road, to introduce the touring bike to New Zealand dealers.
She had two photographers and two riders – her and her husband – for a weekend of promotional activities when the rain came.
Howe did manage to get on the bike for some photos on the Māori Ford Bridge on Friday, however.
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Saturday morning, the rain getting stronger and stronger, the decision was made to postpone the promo. By late Saturday afternoon, the Māori Ford Bridge had disappeared.
A temporary Bailey Bridge, in Canterbury, is in a month. And a new permanent bridge at 18 months.
Howe said she also planned for nine branded dealers to arrive on Monday for a ride through the Waihopai Valley.
“We did manage to take a few photos the day before the flood, which was great,” said the Harley-Davidson representative.
Heavy rains on July 17, 2021 caused considerable damage to Marlborough.
“We canceled the event on Saturday because it was too raining and safety comes first.”
Howe said most of his working adult life had been in the motorcycle industry, and it was his “passion”.
For the past three years, she had been hired by Harley-Davidson Australia and New Zealand, working with ambassadors and dealers and attending shows.
Harley-Davidson public relations manager 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.