Friday, May 8, 2009

Christchurch Cycling Craze #13 - A Taranaki Gate

Although this humorous, though dangerous, tale does not refer to events occurring in Christchurch, its cycle theme and expression of the New Zealand sense of humour is reason enough to squeeze it in under the rubric of the Cycling Craze:

"He was fond of cycling, and was more or less of a scorcher. He revelled in pace-making, and he boasted that no hill was too steep for him to take full tilt. One recent day, however while entering a Taranaki town, he altered his opinion about rushing down hills, for, instead of going round the corner at the bottom of a very steep descent, he went straight on and smashed through the window of a jeweller's shop. In due course he crawled out of the hospital and paid the jeweller a good round sum for damages.

"But, history has a way of repeating itself. It did in this case, anyway, and another cyclist entered the jeweller's shop by the window. Then it became apparent to the shopkeeper that it was time to take action. When a third window had been put in, an amused crowd stood outside and read this notice — "Cyclists are particularly requested to enter this establishment by the door."

New Zealand Free Lance, Volume VII, Issue 360, 25 May 1907, Page 12.

tar·a·na·ki gate [ tàrrə nákee gàyt ] (plural tar·a·na·ki gates):

New Zealand roughly made gate: a serviceable but roughly constructed gate made using battens and wire.

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