Tuesday, July 9, 2013

First bikes

I stayed at mum's for a bit last week and dug out some old photos... this CB 175 was my first motorcycle, which I really only got cause I couldn't afford a car. Of course I became immediately obsessed with the whole thing, and spent a good couple of years riding this little thing way beyond it's abilities (meaning some quite long rides around the South Island)...

That's me on the left at about 17 I think. My friend, on the right, is David O'Keefe. Dave was a righteous chap who unfortunately caught meningitis and bloody died on a surfing trip in Aussie in the late '90s.

I quickly realised I needed a bigger bike, and although I really wanted something British – I'd already fallen in love with Triumphs, Nortons, and BSAs by this point mostly because I'd discovered 60s Rocker culture and cafe racers via various magazines – I couldn't afford a British bike. As a poor art school student at this point I bought the next best thing – a British racing green Honda CB 350.

This turned out to be an awesome bike actually, and really quite fast for it's size. These photos were taken when I bought it, and while I modified it a bit (drag bars and chopped down seat) I don't seem to have any photos of it like that. I actually crashed this bike, rear-ending some car in the rain when they hit their brakes for an orange light. (Interestingly enough these photos were taken in Lyttelton, where I have now lived for a quite a bit, and where I used to 'hang around' as a teenage hoodlum. We liked coming over here to watch the bike gangs line up outside the British Hotel!)

My next bike was an odd choice for me really – a bit embarrassing now? although we're talking very early 1990s here and I was only 19 or 20 so gimme a break – also, at the time, it was almost new and cost quite a bit. I put it entirely on my student loan (which had just been introduced by the government) as they didn't seem to care what you spent the money on (I also bought a ridiculously huge guitar amp and took a trip to Spain with my girlfriend!).

Dig my flowing locks? My girlfriend (Silvia Rico Lozano) and I rode this around around NZ one summer fully loaded with tent, sleeping bags, and all sorts of shit tied on. This last photo is of me just before leaving town, must have been '93 or '94.

Shortly after this my cousin, Matthew Woodley, got killed on his motorcycle. He was hit head on by a 15 year old drunk driver with no license. My parents pretty much made me get rid of the bike then and offered me a bunch of cash to buy a car. I bought a Holden Kingswood, which I then obsessed over for the next few years and blew thousands of dollars on! I didn't get another bike until about a decade later, and even then I kept it a secret from my parents for a while... 


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