Sunday, March 25, 2018

Back up the West Coast

The next day we woke up next to Lake Pukaki which was beautiful but cold. Joe and Malcolm too a dip in the lake and I thought 'fuck that'. We headed for Naseby for the night from here. Amazing day with stunning weather. Joe and Milky were so happy they got a bit touchy-feely that evening while checkin out some nature...

Next day we rode from Naseby to Makarora through Wanaka. Another amazing day, great weather etc, a few more cars I guess, but didn't take any photos.

After camping in Makarora we headed through the Haast Pass and onto the West Coast where we also, unusually, had great weather. That road is amazing when it's nice. There'd been a few wash-outs recently from big rains, but mostly it was just great... Milky wouldn't quit touching Joe though...

Then finally it happened. Rain. Heaps of it, and real heavy. My camera ain't waterproof so no photos obviously. Except this one, when we were getting ready to leave the shelter of the motel in Greymouth...

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

South and West with Joe and MIlky T.

Managed to squeeze in another brief ride before starting back at work in February this year. Taken me a while to get around to getting these photos up, mostly because I have to photoshop out all the black spots hat I get in my photos because of all the shit that's been forced into the camera by my taking it out and taking photos at open road speeds. Anyways, these are from DAY 1... left Christchurch on Wednesday about 5.30pm and headed south to Geraldine and then onto Tekapo. Some amazing changes in light, got fuckin' cold, but a beautiful ride with bugger all traffic being mid-week and all. Spent the night free-camping at Lake Pukaki, drinking cheap liquor and watching the stars in one of the clearest skies the world has to offer (we're very close to the Mount John Observatory here).

More to come...

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Ride to Golden Bay to see Guitar Wolf!

And then...

Heading home after being excellently hosted by Clint and his ex-missuses dad!? ...

Sunday, August 6, 2017


Just felt like it was high time I put another photo of this old girl up again... she's running pretty good at the moment (touch wood!), apart from a sticking slide in the carb. I've been having a lot of trouble with this bike for the last couple of years that I think is related to it being kept in a shipping container in fairly cold Christchurch winters. Sometimes I open it up and it's literally like a refrigerator in there. I think this is why my cables have been getting shitty and corroded, and also why the slide's been sticking so bad that I have to pull it out and lube it if the bike's been sitting for a week. Anyways we're about to move and I'll have an actual garage... for the first time since I've owned this! So in like 10 years! Can't wait to have a proper work space etc too... and a nice long ride through the country to get to work.

Monday, June 26, 2017

First Ilam Press Records Record

So looking back it was only a couple of posts ago really that I proposed I might do this thing called 'Ilam Press Records'. Well here's the first record... this is a lathe cut record made in an edition of 30 by Peter King Lathe Records down in Mt Somers here. The band is one I'm in with a guy from school, a kind of guitar duo 'matinee' band. Really we made this as a bit of a test case, and I have to say I like it. I think this short-run record thing could be good for me. I've sent another one to Peter King which we should get back soon, a Katabatic Wind one, so a very different sound, and also it'll be a 33rpm 12" record this time.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Akounak Tedalat Taha Tazouhai

Akounak Tedalat Taha Tazouhai Trailer from sahelsounds on Vimeo.

Holy shit this looks amazing! I absolutely HAVE to see this ASAP! Really digging this guy, Mdou Moctar's, guitar playing... and shit it's got motorbikes too.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Fare-thee-well Lionel 'Duc' Newbery

Last week one of our contributors passed away. A real gem of a man, Lionel Newbery, or 'Duc' as many people called him, contributed fragments and memories of his ride around the world back in the late '70s to issues #2 and #3 of Head Full of Snakes under the title 'Not Safe'. That's Lionel above on his 1974 Moto Guzzi GT850, the bike he rode from London back to NZ. He still had this bike and it was great to see it again, sitting out the back of his house at his funeral/tangi last Thursday. His kids told me that they plan to do the ol' Guzzi up too, in Lionel's memory.

Last Thursday was amazing and seemed a really fitting send off for someone who was so sort of quietly influential in quite a few peoples lives. Lionel had a large and really loving family, and he was also well known to the locals over in Lyttelton where he lived. It was actually seeing Lionel riding his old red Ducati (below) around Lyttelton back in the very early 2000s that made me get back into motorcycles (having since sold my bike after my cousin died on one). I loved the look and sound of Lionel's Ducati, and he'd often be parked up outside No.6, one of the old cafes that was run by Bruce Russell and his wife Kate back then.

Lionel had shown me photos of his old Ducati GT 750 that he'd bought brand new and raced, but I'd never seen it in the flesh. Turns out his brother had it up in Auckland, and so he rode it back down all the way to Lyttelton for the funeral! I think it bought a tear to many people's eyes when Lionel's son (on the red bike) and his brother (on the GT) started up both bikes to lead a procession of motorcycles over to the Diamond Harbour cemetery. Lionel went in the old Citroen you can just see in front of the motorbikes there.

I thought it would be a slow sombre ride around the bays, but no! These two on the Ducatis took off and this would easily be one of the fastest most hair-raising group rides I've been on. A fitting tribute as everyone agreed, 'that's how Lionel would have ridden'.

The ceremony was beautiful with no involvement from any weird outside participants who didn't know Lionel. The family filled the grave with shovels, everyone got real dirty. There were no speeches, but there were a couple of songs. It was really moving and special.

Here's to you Lionel, and long may the Guzzi run.