Wednesday, April 4, 2012


Most weekdays I ride along the Stirling Terrace footpath to the uni. Round the corner of the gemstone shop, past the taxi rank, the nightclub, the tattoo shop, a clothing store franchise, an art gallery, a plant nursery, then the line of buildings that served the seafarers when everyone got here by sea - pubs, customs, chandlers, administration offices ... I see pedestrians coming up and there is an exchange of eye contact, twenty metres before I reach them. I slow, dodge around them or even jump off and walk and they smile. No problems on this uncrowded street. It's a nice way to arrive at work.

The tattooist parks his Harley on the footpath outside his shop. It's a gorgeous piece of streetscape that bike, and better than any business card. I bailed him up yesterday on his way back from the supermarket:

Me: "Can I take a photo of your bike?"
He: "Sure."
Me: "Great. I'll just get off my bike. In fact I think I'll park it here ... in front of yours."
He: "Erm. Okay. Hey, it's an Indi. Oh yeah, I used to have one of them."
Me: "No sir, it's a Peach, they're called Peaches these days."
He: "I could put all of my shopping in that Peach. Just look at that basket. And is that an original Peach bicycle pump?"
Me: "Well, it could be but really, it's just very rusty."


  1. So a tatooist biker with a bicycle fetish. Takes all sorts don't it. Just goes to show.

  2. He's a darling with a Peach fetish, Chris. Peach. C'mon.

  3. Yes, WY.

    Wish I'd come up with a better line than "No, it's a KMart bicycle pump gone rusty."
    I may be a fiction writer but Flash speak is beyond me, dammit.

  4. Mine's the one with the shiny bits, of course.

  5. Nice exchange. Finding common ground.

  6. You didn't really call him 'sir' did you? How very charming. Indi 500 / Peach? I'm a little confused. Is peach a euphamism for something?

    Speaking of which my mate Denis (who enjoys fishing for Australian Salmon off the beaches of SA)had a conversation with the son (I think) of the bloke who built the "Indian" which featured in the recent movie. The family own a large hardware store in Invercargill NZ and the "Indian" is their pride and joy. Denis was cornered by this bloke for about an hour while he told the story. Me? I thought Invercargill was probably the most uninteresting place in the whole of NZ and drove straigh through.

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  8. I've seen that bike at the Otago museum.

  9. Sorry. Deleted your double comment Mr Hat.
    Peach? It's just a phenomenon that happens when you start talking about bicycles.

    Sir? Well, no, that didn't happen either. In the immortal words of Peter Carey on defending his work 'The True History of the Kelly Gang', "C'mon, It's fiction, guys ... it's fiction!"