Meet our bike shop partner: The Urban Cyclist

Meet our bike shop partner: The Urban CyclistIt wasn’t long ago that bike retailing in New Zealand meant physical stores offering little for commuters beyond mountain bikes with city tyres. That’s now changed, in part thanks to online retailers like The Urban Cyclist. Owner Emma Jonsson is a Kiwi who was inspired by Euro-style cycling when visiting Copenhagen with her Danish then-boyfriend, now hubbie. She returned to New Zealand itching to ride the Danish way right here in Auckland, only to find that city riding was in its very early days and nobody sold the bikes and bits she needed. That was the catalyst for The Urban Cyclist. Now, we’re delighted to welcome them to our bike shop …
Comments 0

Sign the petition for bikeways and light rail on Dominion Road!

Sign the petition for bikeways and light rail on Dominion Road!Last week, we proposed proper bikeways for Dominion Road as part of the light rail project – and we’ve been overwhelmed with the response. “Where do I sign?” was the instant cry. We have an answer for you! If you share our vision for safe cycling on Dominion Road, please add your name to the petition. We’re also counting on you to share the link and pass on the good news. You’ll be helping ensure that Auckland gets the absolute most out of this once-in-a-lifetime $6bn opportunity, by incorporating a strategic bike route into the big dig for light rail on Dominion Road. This is our chance to create a great green …
Comments 0

Safety projects popping up in Papatoetoe

Safety projects popping up in PapatoetoeAs in the poem by Carl Sandburg about fog, it seems safety ‘comes on little cat feet’… After AT’s excoriating safety report, we’re starting to see little local upgrades that make things better for people on bikes and on foot. Here’s a bouquet of safety projects in Papatoetoe that deserve your support. Help us create a positive feedback loop for quick, responsive safety fixes by AT! Firstly, a stretch of protected bike lane and a new bike crossing signal where Station Road, Wyllie Road, and Shirley Road come together near the train station (see project page).  Feedback closes Monday 9 July! Click the button below to go to straight to …
Comments 0

Cycling to Middlemore – a health hazard?

Cycling to Middlemore - a health hazard?A recent guest post by Dr Rob Burrell struck a real chord. It was about the irony of how dangerous it is to bike to one of Auckland’s biggest hospitals – despite cycling being one of the healthiest commutes there is. Now, Rob’s anaesthetist colleague Dr Craig Birch follows up with his own story of how difficult it is to bike safely to Middlemore. Content warning: two grisly crashes, resulting in what would officially qualify as merely ‘minor’ injuries.  I have cycled to Middlemore Hospital, where I work as an anaesthetist, for many years – since 2001. Unfortunately, safety issues have meant that I’ve had to resort to getting in my car …
Comments 4

Quickblog: Pedestrian (and some bike) improvements for Mt Roskill!

Quickblog: Pedestrian (and some bike) improvements for Mt Roskill!Bike Auckland’s technical staff (our unpaid volunteers with specialist expertise) regularly support pedestrian improvements that Auckland Transport puts up for public feedback – new refuge islands, zebra crossings, traffic calming. We keep an eye on Auckland Transport’s Have your say page, and when we see something worth supporting for people on foot, we say so in the name of Bike AKL – even if it has no (direct) bike benefits. But normally we don’t raise it with you, our readers and friends. With some exceptions! Read on for how you can help… In this case, Auckland Transport has been proposing pedestrian improvements in Mt Roskil (project page here – scroll down …
Comments 0

Light Rail for the Isthmus… with room for bikes! A Bike AKL proposal

Light Rail for the Isthmus... with room for bikes! A Bike AKL proposalLight Rail (LRT) across the isthmus and to the airport is a hot topic, and Bike Auckland supported it in principle in our recent submission on the Regional Long Term Plan… with one clear caveat: Bikeways must be included in LRT projects, both to and along the future routes. Why? Public transport travels on fixed routes, but everyone’s start and end points are different – so how people cover the ‘last mile’ is key. Walking is great, but bikes extend your range from a few hundred meters to a few kilometres. That makes bikes a perfect strategic combo with LRT. So we need bike paths to future LRT stations, and great …
Comments 2

You are here: everyday landmarks

You are here: everyday landmarksA joyful day! A new story from our resident teller of tales, Simon Vincent (search for ‘Simon’s stories’ to find more).  “I often find things catch my eye when I’m riding – sometimes it is because they are unusual or unexpected, but in this case it is things that I notice often and that stay with me,” says Simon, about this lovely list of landmarks along his regular routes…  As a child, I loved spending time visiting my cousins. The cousins were great, but what made the visits so special was that they lived in Blackpool – the Rotavegas of the English North. The (in hindsight, short) trip up the …
Comments 0

Boxed in: the problem(s) with Advanced Stop Boxes

Boxed in: the problem(s) with Advanced Stop BoxesAdvanced stop boxes: they’re a paint-only, bare minimum kind of bike infrastructure, and not in any way best practice for protecting people on bikes at intersections, which are hot spots for crashes. But at many intersections all over Auckland, they’re literally all we have in the way of any support for (ever so slightly) safer cycling. We use them because we’re there, even if it puts us between a rock  (or a bus, or a truck, or an impatient driver) and a hard place. Matt Hancock wrote to us with his experiences of using ASBs, and questions about maintenance and enforcement of the markings. His story, below – and an update …
Comments 7

Data and doubters: sample surveys 101

Data and doubters: sample surveys 101On the radio this week, talkback host Mike Hosking shared his reckons about AT’s annual research report into walking and cycling, which we covered yesterday. In particular, he simply couldn’t believe that 65% of Aucklanders think bike paths are good for the community. He didn’t just doubt the results, he doubted the methodology – and described the research as an ‘opt-in’ online survey filled in by ‘keyboard warriors’ and ‘bored deadbeats with nothing to do.’ Similarly, the NZ Herald ran an editorial referring to AT ‘surveying self-selected samples online for the answers it wants.’ But just because something seems too good to be true doesn’t mean it’s false. This study wasn’t an ‘opt-in’ …
Comment 1

Honorary Hotties – a road ride with the gals

Honorary Hotties - a road ride with the galsWhat happens when two blokes join an all-female group ride? Ross Inglis explains: Next time you spot a roadie group, or you’re in one, do a quick count. How many of the riders are women? Chances are, very few. One in 10, if we had to guess. So we were intrigued when we ran into the Hotties, an all-women group riding out of Bike Auckland partner Hot Cycles in St Heliers. It’s the city’s only exclusively female road group we know of, it has its own team kit, and it’s growing fast. We asked if two blokes, myself and my riding buddy Dave, could join a Hotties ride to sample life …
Comments 0

A majority of Aucklanders like bikes: AT’s 2018 Active Modes survey

A majority of Aucklanders like bikes: AT's 2018 Active Modes surveyEvery year, to round out the bare-bones data the automatic cycle counters supply, Auckland Transport commissions independent research, interviewing a representative sample of Aucklanders by location, age, and gender to find out what people think about walking and cycling. (We’ve covered previous surveys here and here.) Note: the screenshots below are from the full research report by TRA, which is located here. Long story short: the 2018 report confirms what our eyes are telling us as we travel around the city – there are more of us on bikes than ever. And people are feeling happier about bikes in general, and bikes in their community in particular. This is the result that’s leading the …
Comment 1

Common courtesy: why I wave at motorists who let me cross

Common courtesy: why I wave at motorists who let me crossI’ve long had a habit, like many others, of giving a cheery wave to motorists who slow down to let me cross when I approach a zebra crossing on my bike. Even if sometimes it’s just a quick raise of the hand – sorry, I need that hand back on my handlebar, there’s a tight turn just on the other side of the crossing!* A few months back, I saw a conversation on Twitter about this. I can’t find it now, and am loath to put words in people’s mouths in case I’ve remembered wrong, but the gist of it was this: Why should people on bikes wave and smile …
Comments 4

A surprise bikeway for Victoria Quarter – and safer strolling, too!

A surprise bikeway for Victoria Quarter – and safer strolling, too!We have long said that there are a few (maybe quite a few!) people within Auckland Transport who would love to do a lot more to make walking and cycling safer – and all they really need is senior leadership backing them… and providing funding. We’ve also long known many passionate individuals and local groups who are keen to achieve the same things in their neighbourhoods. This blog is about what happens when those people in AT meet those people in the community, at a time when safety is finally given priority for available funding. A place full of people, opportunity, and… too much car traffic The (Western) Victoria Quarter is …
Comments 2

Beyond debate: Auckland looks better on a bike!

Beyond debate: Auckland looks better on a bike!After dark at Motat on the last day of May, they came – people on bikes, the bike-curious, and two teams of top comedians, all ready for the inaugural big bike debate. The crowd mingled and warmed up over drinks and nibbles in the high-concept Idea Collective Hall, with what some readers might recognize as the framework of the old tactile dome repurposed as the bar for the evening. As MC Wallace Chapman said admiringly, the joint was really working an 80s night club vibe. Then it was time to take our seats at tables for the main event. Wallace expertly primed the crowd, greeting us with ‘Give it up …
Comments 0

Meet our bike shop partners – Electrify NZ

Meet our bike shop partners – Electrify NZElectrify NZ is a proof point for the proliferation of electric bicycles across New Zealand. What started as a one-man, single-store business three years ago has grown into a retail chain with two Auckland sites, three more across the country, and further stores on the way. Founder Michael Tritt, a former Greenpeace staffer, started electrify.nz with a simple goal: get more people on bikes and out of their cars. Michael opened his doors for business at the beginning of the e-bike phenomenon and he says the business has thrived after a slow start. “In my first winter I was selling maybe a bike every month. But we rode the e-bike …
Comment 1