Alf delighted in reading the Herald’s story headed Giggling cyclist hits motorway.
It’s about a bloke in a bright orange high-visibility vest and crash helmet who threw Auckland motorists into a tizz by joining motorway traffic on Auckland’s Newmarket Viaduct yesterday.
Sad bastards, your Aucklanders, when they can get so excited about someone on a bicycle sharing their road space.
Or are they surprised by someone actually enjoying being on one of their bloody motorways, so much so that he got a giggle out of the experience?
Drivers on the viaduct’s southbound lanes – which have been narrowed while a replacement structure is built next to it – were astounded to come across the middle-aged cyclist on one of the busiest sections of the region’s motorway network.
Seemingly oblivious to the thick traffic around him and a downpour of rain, the man cycled across the 690m viaduct and a further 1km to near the Market Rd offramp before police, responding to a flurry of phone calls from drivers, escorted him out of harm’s way.
The bloke is reported to have pleaded he was an overseas tourist who did not know cyclists were barred from New Zealand motorways.
This implies he was ignorant, rather than deranged, although it should be noted he is believed to be from Australia.. Hence he may well have been ignorant and deranged.
The police were decent enough to let him off with a warning to continue his journey south along urban streets.
But the whole idea of using this mode of transport is obviously astonishing to Aucklanders, which further attests to their being a breed apart from the rest of us.
Landscape worker Jethro Hoskin, who photographed the cyclist as a passenger in a car which passed him just after 10am, said the man was zig-zagging in the motorway’s left-hand lane when he first noticed him.
“To my amazement he kept on pedalling and continued to cycle over the overpass, completely oblivious to the traffic, not to mention the ridiculous weather conditions – I have never, ever, ever seen such a thing.”
The man, whom he judged to be in his late 50s and whose socks were tucked into his trousers, appeared to be pedalling as fast as he could on a small-wheeled bike with a tent on a rear carrier.
“It looked like one of those fold-up bikes,” Mr Hoskin said.
“He seemed to be giggling as people were yelling at him – he was claiming the road – he’d have to be a lunatic.”
Nope. As we noted before, more likely he would have to be an Aussie.
Or a member of the Green Party, maybe, although the giggling suggests otherwise. They are seriously bereft of a sense of fun in the Green Party.
Oh – and what’s the problem with having your trousers tucked into your socks?
The way Alf remembers it, this helps prevent your trouser cuffs being chewed up in the bicycle chain.
In the upshot, Alf points out that he has been subjected to Auckland motorway traffic behaviour when obliged to travel to that unattractive city and can’t see what the fuss is about.
The traffic moves so bloody slowly, there can be scant risk of a cyclist being harmed.
Chances are the cyclist was travelling faster than the motorists.
Alf’s advice would be to have all Aucklanders travel on bicycles to cut down on their travel time. The city’s productivity could be enhanced enormously by making greater use of pedal power for commuting.