Sunday, February 13, 2011

Pete Heal

Last week I went to Stoke, being brave, to say hello to an Australian madman named Peter Heal.

He had cycled from Christchurch, non-stop over the Lewis Pass which is très steep, in 27 hours.

This proves he is mad.

Sane people do not cycle non-stop over the Lewis Pass from Christchurch to Nelson. It's one of the things they don't do. I knew a sane person once, and he didn't cycle non-stop over the Lewis Pass from Christchurch to Nelson.

Mr Heal was on his way to Westport. And, I assure you, Stoke is not on the route at all. Stoke is simply miles from Westport, and in completely the wrong direction. It's like going from London to Cardiff via Norwich. This proves he is mad too. Well actually it doesn't - he might just have serious navigational problems.

Anyway, that's what he was up to and as a prelude he had cycled round Australia in 49 days and you can read about it here, among other places.
That is another thing that sane people don't do. If you want to be where you already are there's no need whatever to cycle round Australia to get there.

He is, as I say, a complete loony. Bonkers in the nut, as Mr Larrington would put it.

We all met up at Mr McEachern's house, doubtless because Mr McEachern is also bonkers in the nut.

Mr McEachern, however, entertained us with an excellent story: he'd been following another cyclist and riding slightly wide of all the car doors when a car full of Young People passed, one of whom threw a bottle at him which bounced. He stopped to write down their number, and a SUV stopped next to him.
'Did you see that?' asked Mr McEachern.
'Yes,' said the SUV driver, 'and they were quite right. You should have been right at the side of the road, out of their way.'
'Oh, thank you very much,' said Mr McEachern, and promptly took the SUV number as a witness. Nelson Police reported back afterwards that the young man had been fined heavily, had lost his licence, and had had his car impounded and crushed. He was unable to tell us what happened to the SUV driver, though it is much to be hoped he was impounded and crushed too.

Mr Heal told us that Australian drivers can be particularly unpleasant like this, and he encountered, on his local (Canberra) news internet forum, a gentleman who declared that he always drove as close to cyclists as he could 'to frighten them off the roads.' Mr Heal thought that cycling in New Zealand was pleasant, which presents a worrying aspect to cycling in Australia. If New Zealand drivers are pleasant, how bad are Australian drivers? This afternoon I was cycling back here from St Arnaud and three separate motorists passed within inches of my handlebars on an otherwise completely empty road. Fortunately I have replaced my bicycle bell with a four-inch howitzer and I was able to impound and crush each of them without troubling Nelson Police over the matter. (I'm lying, of course. You don't need to impound cars if you have a howitzer among your handlebar furniture.)


Blogger Mr Larrington said...

The phrase or saying "bonkers in the nut" was, alas, stolen from south Londonton oik and humourist Mr. Paul Merton.

February 23, 2011 at 5:44 AM  

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