Wheel alignment

Wednesday 2 June 2010

Some random photos

Following on from the last post about wet weather gear, it's only a short skip to cold weather riding.  One of my friends lives in Central Otago, an inland area of the south island of NZ.  It's stunningly beautiful, sparsely populated and the climate can best be described as "continental" - low rainfall, up to 35degrees C and beyond in summer and down to -15degrees C in winter.  They breed them tough down there as Malcolm rides his bike to work in all but the harshest conditions.  He reckons that at minus 6 degrees, it starts to get a bit tricky because even with the coarse chip of south island roads, you start to lose mechanical grip.  Personally, I'd be more worried about losing digits and other extremities but what do I know; I'm just a soft north islander.

The photo is of Malcolm riding his Suzuki GS1200 SS down his kilometre-long dirt drive in the middle of winter.  Pretty heroic if you ask me.  Common sense has prevailed though.  He now owns a VStrom 1000 which is probably more suited to the winter conditions!
A Central Otago, NZ winter!

Keeping the winter connection, when I lived in the UK, there was a motorcycle event held every Boxing Day in Northamptonshire called the Wild and Woolly Scramble.  Scrambling being the quaint earlier term for what is now motocross.  The track was laid out through the fields of a working farm and testing conditions is an understatement - snow laying on the top of metre-deep mud in some places.  Great for spectators but not so hot for the competitors.  No such thing as a pressure wash for the bikes either.  The photo was taken by me in 1968. 

A study in abject misery!

The following photo was taken at the same event in 1969 but clearly in better conditions.  There's a bit of pedigree here as the photo is of Don Rickman , co-founder of Rickman Motorcycles who made nickel-plated frame "Metisse" kits for just about any type of motorcycle on the planet, including GP bikes.  Note the safety gear of that era - rugby shirt, leather pants and boots and not a bit of armour to be seen! (And temperatures hovering around freezing).

The famous Rickman Metisse frame


  1. I don't see anyone on a mobile phone either. I miss the bad old days (mine were in colour as I recall).

  2. Geoff:

    I still have a vintage Belstaff riding jacket. The oiled cotton one and boy, does it smell after a while.

    we didn't know back then that it was the best things could be. such an innocent time to be living the good life. Little crime, people looking out for each other, we were wrong to believe that things could get better.

    Geoff, you were leading edge . . . I mean, for someone who was only 20 and leaving the UK for a distant land to have enough forsight to bring your photos with you and store them safely so that now we can view them, is amazing !

    Wet Coast Scootin

  3. Mr Conchscooter:
    Good point! I avoided a mobile for as long as possible. Yep, only wars were fought in black and white!

    Mr Bob:
    So do I! It's a genuine Belstaff, but is cut into the waist like a leather jacket. Haven't worn it for 10 years and can smell it every time I open the cupboard.

    I was 27 (I think) when we emigtated. Tomorrow, we should receive a disk of digitized photos, including more bike ones. I recently found boxes of 35mm slides and in them were bike photos, photos of our honeymoon and lots more. This is my first foray into getting slides digitized. They haven't seen light of day for over 3 decades so am quite excited.

  4. Geoff:

    I purchased my Belstaff around 1980 when I bought my Suzuki GS1100L . I can still wear it . . . if I don't need to breathe. How about You ?

    I see you are stubborn in your inability to embrace technology. Perhaps we should hang a string between BC and NZ with tin cans at each end so we can speak to each other.

    bobskoot: wet coast scootin

  5. Bob:

    I think I got mine in 1987 so it's probably not as smelly as yours but I'm pleased to say it still fits me :-)

    Not stubborn, just get around to things as I need them!! A neighbour has a slide and negative digitizer but it's nowhere as good as a professional service.

    Do you have Skype?

  6. Geoff,
    Wow, that photo from 1968 looks... old. It's hard to believe that it snows in NZ. A NZ guy at our church was saying that the ozone layer has a big whole there. A person can get scorched in a quick way. Do you ride all year?

    PS - the verification word was "procyclo" kind of like pro cycle!

  7. Hi Mike!
    Ahhh... that's the UK where I lived until my 20's! It does snow in NZ, but only in the high country and parts of the south island, not up our way so yes; I ride all year round. That photo of my friend in the south island is just a wicked frost, maybe minus 10 - rarely snows where he is.

    Yep, there is a thinning of the ozone down our way, but it's gradually closing. Still it pays to wear a hat in the summer and slap on plenty of sunblock.

    Hahaha - you were meant to make the post!

  8. Geoff:

    I guess I should look into SKYPE. If you figured out how to use it then I shouldn't have any problems

    bobskoot: wet coast scootin

  9. I stopped by agian to read your response - thank you Geoff. I can't believe I used the wrong word for "hole". I hope you don't grade for grammar on your blog! I feel so stew-pid! :)

  10. Hahaha - no sweat! I noticed a serious typo on a comment I made the other day to Bobscoot. Computers are not an aid to good spelling!


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