A while now since they 'built' a cycle path opposite our house. It was actually an excuse for funding, because one of my privy councillors informed me that they could only get funding for the sewer if they built a cycle path on top of it, and they could only get funding for a cyclepath if they built a sewer below. - Don't ask me. I didn't make the Rules. - But Mr Knight, a volunteer fireman, informs me that the fine on the Canterbury Plain for lighting an un-licensed fire is $400, while the licence costs $1500. So the Rules are occasionally a little puzzling.
First they dug and laid the sewer, then they deposited an entire truckload of crushed glass on the road outside our drive, then they left matters for a fortnight, and finally they returned and shovelled most of the glass into the mud and laid tarmac over the top, scattering the whole with gravel.
We had six punctures in the first week. One of the Rules is that 'if there is an adequate cycle path provided, cyclists must use it.' There is some discussion around the word 'adequate.'
At the timber yard one of the chaps who lives down our lane sympathised, saying he wouldn't ride a bike - if he did ride a bike - on that cycle lane, but - mind - he'd drive his car as close as he could right next to anyone using the road on a bike if the cycle lane was any good.
Sprang Gordon Wallator from the office to the fray:
'Doesn't matter what their reason for riding on the road is - it's not your business to endanger their lives just because they choose to avoid a crappy path full of puddles and broken glass!'
I liked Gordon. He was a Canadian, nice guy, wiry and lean, white hair and specs, a mountain biker. He would chat enthusiastically about our tobacco sheds, which are large and capacious and the sort of thing Canadians don't have in Canada, so they get all carried away when they come across them in New Zealand and dream up things you can convert them into. He retired last Friday, aged 65, from the timber yard. On Sunday he died.
Yesterday the flags over the timber yard were flying at half mast.