Thames Steampunk Parade

Day 82, Saturday 11 November 2017

I rode down to Thames today to watch the annual Steampunk Parade. The parade was perhaps twice the size of last year’s one, with participants dressed in steampunk style, or in some cases just in Victorian-era clothing. There were some fantastic whimsical vehicles, and even the baby police car pictured, while not in theme, added to the fun of the occasion.


Distance travelled: 233 km. Total distance so far: 12,190 km

Funeral procession

Day 30, Wednesday 20 September 2017

Two funerals for Ulysses people on successive days is not a good look! Both were for women who died of cancer at similar ages.

Today we were asked to meet at the deceased’s residence, and follow the hearse from there to the cemetery. I imagine it must have been an impressive display to see all these large motorcycles riding in close formation behind the hearse, blocking off traffic as necessary to stay together.

The service was particularly moving, with almost every speaker visibly struggling with tears.

I wasn’t inclined to go riding afterwards.

Distance travelled: 65 km. Total distance so far: 3903 km

Funeral service

Day 29, Tuesday 19 September 2017

I attended a funeral service for the partner of a Ulysses member who died recently after a long battle against cancer. Ulysses was asked to attend in support. We lined up in our motorcycle gear on either side of the chapel entrance as people filed in.

She sounded like a vivacious and courageous woman. I’m sorry I didn’t have the pleasure of knowing her.

Distance travelled: 75 km. Total distance so far: 3828 km

New Zealand Motorcycle Show

Day 26, Saturday 16 September 2017

I last went to the New Zealand Motorcycle Show four years ago, when it was exclusively devoted to classic bikes and there were few stalls. It’s shifted venue since then and has grown to cover a much larger floor space with the same collection of classic bikes, but also displays of current models from most of the major motorcycle manufacturers, most of them offering discounts as part of the show, and stalls selling all manner of motorcycle gear. There were also several motorcycle clubs who had displays. I was impressed and enjoyed spending a couple of hours wandering around.

Visitors are asked to vote for the bike or display they are most impressed by. I tossed up between several bikes – the first good bike I ever owned as a teenager, the bike I would have bought if I’d had any money as a teenage, a bike I owned which should win a prize for ugliness and lack of safety. In the end, I voted not for a bike but for a display – a recreation of a backyard scene with motorcycle parts in poor condition scattered around it – a “barn find” ripe for restoration.

Distance travelled: 15 km. Total distance so far: 3566 km