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New Brighton Bike Race


A blast of the salty easterly hits me in the face. My competition ring their bike bells. My bike, it doesn’t have a bell any more. Uncle Trev took it off before he fixed my chain then forgot to put it back on again.

I check my brakes.

The posh voice comes on the speaker announcing the race will begin in one minute. A big cheer goes up from the people on the pier behind me. Through their loudness I hear the waves boom onto the wooden pillars at the far end of the pier. Someone behind me sneezes, I can feel wet on my neck. The posh voice tells me thirty seconds to the start. I put my foot on the pedal so I can do a rolling mount. I scoot to the front of the pack.

“Ten seconds to go.” My cardigan feels as though it is made of tissue paper.

“8,” I only hear the blood in my ears.

“7," I taste my lunch, the cold egg sandwich in the back of my throat.

“4” I roll forward, “3, 2, 1." The horn blares, I trundle forward. Sand crunches underneath my tyres....

This story is a part of the Beca Christchurch Heritage Festival series, for those pieces of writing created in the workshops sponsored by the Christchurch Heritage Festival and Tūranga.

© Write On: School for Young Writers and the writer, 2019


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