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The Christchurch Motor and Cycling Club's motor races on New Brighton Beach, Christchurch


It’s three pm. A warm summer breeze brushes my cheek, yet my blood is frozen in fear, me and Eddie are the only two kids here, the rest are all men.

The Estuary has never been so crowded, people are screaming and cheering on the pier, on the shore bike mechanics and supporters are yelling and fixing, cheering and asking for autographs. Me and Eddie have neither of those things, no mechanic and the only supporters in the crowd are the faint voices of mum and dad, along with little baby Lisa, trying to have a nap.

The stench of seaweed burns out my nose hairs, it’s too bad the race had to be held at low tide.

I tighten my cap, and keep my fake moustache in place. When me and Eddie entered the race we had to say we had severe cases of dwarfism.

“You good, William?!” Bellows Eddie, it sounds more like a whisper over the sound of the blaring crowd.

“I’m fine, but I think my tyre’s busted a leak!” I respond.

“What?!” hollers Eddie.

Eh, It’ll be fine. It’s been run over by a drunken man driving an automobile before and I still got first in the race just ten minutes after that. I thought to myself.

“Silence!” howled the Mayor. Everyone kept cheering and shouting and chatting and screaming. “SILENCE!” howled the Mayor once more. The people pay no attention once more. “SIIIIIIIIILEEEEEEEEENCE!!” barked the Mayor. Everybody listened this time. His face was fuming, bright red, it almost looked like steam was going to blast out of his ears and his top hat was going to shoot into space. “Now that I’ve got you all listening” Said the Mayor through gritted teeth. “I am happy to begin the countdown for the 1993 Estuary Bike Race! So without further ado, 3!

All of the cyclists got into a hunched position.


Me and Eddie looked at each other with regretful looks on our faces.


Roar! Wheels spun, mud flew, people cheered and me and Eddie were in joint first. “They’re catching up!” Panted Eddie through fearful breaths. I looked behind me and saw the scowls of the men behind us.

“Eep!” I sped up. Blam! My front tyre pops, I’m spinning out of control.

Boosh! I hit a fallen log and do three mid-air flips before crashing to the ground.

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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