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Six riders, a rich landscape and a whole lot of fun

Geoff Helisma

When Keeley Pritchett’s phone rang he didn’t recognize the number, but he took the call … a call that steered his life a little wide of the mark while riding towards a bullseye.

Just over two years ago, the Lower Clarence man was an apprentice motorcycle mechanic learning his trade in Sydney. Following that unexpected phone call, Pritchett ended up touring Tasmania with five other bikers and starring in the film Wide of the Mark. Pritchett’s passion for building custom bikes led him to enter his modified, supercharged 1986 SR400 chopper into the 2019 Build Comp – Machine Show. “I was building custom bikes in my spare time,” he says, “I’d always had the intention of entering shows and stuff, so I’d entered the comp against 40 of Australia’s best and up-and-comers.

“I ended up winning it and Tom [Gilroy], from Purpose Built Moto up on the Gold Coast, saw it on social media and approached me to be a part of it [the movie]. “I was on board pretty much from the moment he asked me. He briefly explained to me that we were going to go down to Tasmania on custom-built bikes and have a fun time. “That’s all I was told; I wasn’t told how long it was going to be, what it entailed, or how hard it was going to be. “Everything that we used during the trip had to stay on our bikes the whole time.”

Pritchett says “riding the stretch of road from Hamilton to Queenstown” is etched in his memory. “In the film, you can see how the winding roads and the scenery that you are enveloped in continue on endlessly – there is a lot of really great drone cinematography in the film – you felt like you could ride forever, some days we were riding more than 10 hours. “On a motorbike, you can sense everything; you can smell everything that you are riding through, all the wattle; you can hear everything, all of the birds in the background; you’re not enclosed in a bubble-like you are in a car.

“The bike is like an extension of your body, you get to know it so well; how it moves, how it vibrates, every little sound that it makes; when it starts to do something wrong, you know how to fix it. “An athlete puts on footy boots; we sit on a motorbike and can feel everything that it does,” Pritchett says the film has been well received at each of the screenings he has attended. “At the Gold Coast premier, the atmosphere was incredible, especially with hearing everyone experience the film first-hand. I’ve also done Byron, Adelaide, Sydney, Brisbane … I’ve been to a fair few.

“God’s honest truth, I haven’t had a bad review yet [and] … we’ve had a lot of females, who’ve never sat on a motorbike before and come away from it and say, ‘That’s something I’d watch again.’, which is a huge pat on the back for the guys that created the film. “The other riders are all Gold Coast-based, ex Nitro Circus riders, Matty McFerran and Emma McFerran, Max Duff from Atkin Moto, who is also a sponsor; Justin Holmes from PopBang Classics and Tom from Purpose Built.

“The film follows the adventures of a group of mates tackling some really big obstacles together. There’s a lot of adrenalin and some quite cool scenery that displays Australia from a different perspective.” The film screens on June 4 at Yamba Cinema, drinks and nibbles (included in the ticket price) from 6.45 pm, movie starts at 7.15 pm; tickets are on sale at the cinema or book your ticket: 6646 d3430 (Service NSW Discover Vouchers can be used for Ticket purchases).

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