OPINION: The boy racers are back.
As a business owner on Bealey Ave, I get a good look at what's happening in Christchurch car culture by standing at my front gate.
I've noticed a steady rise in people out cruising in hopped-up cars on the weekend. This last weekend as I watched a group drive around for the fourth time, I experienced a wave of nostalgia.
Maybe the avenues being clogged with high-performance cars is a sign that things are starting to return to normal.
After the earthquakes our colourful car culture took a back seat while people focused on more important things in life, like their homes, jobs, families, and communities.
There seemed to be a drop in young people driving around and looking for fun. There were stories of activity on the outskirts, but the central city avenues were quieter than normal.
I was told the boy racers had all moved to Timaru and the Gold Coast, but I think the truth was that the roads were stuffed. Mother Nature had achieved what polite society had never managed. Cruising in Christchurch was much less fun.
Now the roads are being repaired and the proposition of driving around the city 20 times in a night is becoming more appealing.
It's like God is gently turning up the volume knob on the four avenues each weekend.
The weekend has traditionally been a time for bogans to polish up their cars and head into town to peacock about, and show off their pride and joy.
In the good old days everyone would drive up and down Colombo St "doin lumbos". Soon that street will reopen and boy and girl racers from around the district will be able to drive through the deserted city, one noisy dump-valve at a time.
I've always thought we should embrace boy/girl racers instead of stigmatising them and making silly bylaws to ruin their fun.
As we rebuild this city we should look at how we can make it more appealing to the young. Driving around aimlessly with your mates is something that never goes out of fashion with young people.
As long as young people and motorised vehicles have been around there has been conflict.
The Bodgies and Milkbar Cowboys of the 60s were supposed to be the downfall of the country; instead most of them just grew up into pretty normal adults.
It seems like such an innocent time before any earthquakes when boy racers were one of the main concerns of the city.
Remember when this was an issue heading into local body elections?
Maybe the lack of anything really exciting to discuss was reflected in such low voter turnout. Now we have real issues to deal with and what seemed like an issue in the past now looks like a distraction.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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