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Kia ora!

Welcome to the tenth issue of Debate. This time we’re looking at fringes, a celebration of alternative culture in Tāmaki Makaurau and beyond.

We’re already halfway through the semester, which means there’s only two issues of Debate left this year. Isn’t that crazy? I hope you’re all hanging in there. If I can do it, so can you. The days are warming up too - last weekend felt like summer. The weather was lovely, but also kind of concerning for August. Either way, spring is upon us. Maybe it’s a sign for a fresh start.

By the time you’re reading this I’ll be 23. So happy birthday to me! In fact, you should all be impressed that the stands are topped up, given the plans I have in store. It’s the first birthday I’ve had out of lockdown in two years, so I’ll be celebrating accordingly. This may include, but isn’t limited to: evading noise control at my flat, enjoying a beverage or two and trying not to get with my ex. Which all sounds awfully similar to last weekend. So much for fresh starts.

Going along with the theme - I’m spending a lot of time on the fringe of the road lately, as a born-again cyclist. I fell in love with cycling last summer, but lost my mojo after getting Covid. I’m back in the saddle after that hiatus and I can’t believe how much I missed it. It’s a great way to start the day and my favourite way to exercise. Running leaves you with your thoughts and I’m not fit enough to go anywhere too far... or interesting.

So, here’s my quick guide to cycling in central Auckland: Avoid Ponsonby Road at all costs. It will definitely make you confront your own mortality while you dodge SUVs, inhale fumes and play chicken with the kerb. Is it bad that I kind of like the thrill? From the Bunnings on Great North Road, you can tuck down Bond Street, hit a cool 50km/h and see how far the momentum takes you up the other side. With a bit of luck, it’ll get you past ‘F Bar’, Kingsland’s flagship dive bar. Doing this circuit reminds me of being a kid, recklessly bombing streets on my skateboard, but with fewer bails (so far at least). Bike lines are great, until they suddenly end and you’re in three lanes of traffic. I’ve also noticed the balder someone is, and the shinier their Audi is, the more they hate cyclists. Sometimes I wonder if there’s an element of jealousy, given the abundance of hair on my head and upper lip.

Some highlights from my last bike ride before print:

1 x David Seymour spotted on Parnell Rise

1 x urge resisted to flip him off

1 x Inner Link overtaken on the Grafton Bridge

1 x race with man in lycra

3 x compliments on my retro Peugeot road bike

That’s all from me. Please enjoy some beautiful writing, artwork and photography from our talented contributors at Debate.

Sam x


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