It’s budget time: help set local priorities for a bikeable city

It's budget time: help set local priorities for a bikeable cityWhat should the city be spending on biking and walking links over the coming financial year? Luckily, you get to say! Auckland Council is consulting with the public on its budget priorities for 2017-2018. Feedback is open until Monday 27 March at 4pm. All the info you need, including the link to the online feedback form, is here. The big question… Question 1 on the feedback form is about rates, which are set to rise. The question is: even though Council has found some $15m savings in the meantime… should it still go with Option A, the originally proposed 3.5% increase? In Council’s own words, this amount (approximately an extra $1.55/week for the average household) …
Comments 4

Yes we… CAN DO! A gathering for advocates

Yes we... CAN DO! A gathering for advocatesThe Cycling Action Network is running its regular national get-together for bike advocates in Wellington this year. It’s a wonderful chance to compare notes with people from all over the country about how to move things forward, especially in an election year. And this year’s theme taps into the grand historical sweep of bikes past and future: it’s the BikeBiCentennial, celebrating 200 years of fun, freedom and adventure! When:  Saturday 25 – Sunday 26 March 2017 Register online here. Members: Early bird $80 (after 6 March it’s $100), or $60 for a day (not including Saturday evening dinner) Non-Members: $140 whole weekend, $80 day (consider joining CAN to save) If cost is a barrier, CAN has some limited …
Comments 0

The Bike Blueprint 2020 – where should Auckland invest in cycling next?

The Bike Blueprint 2020 - where should Auckland invest in cycling next?The Urban Cycleway Fund has given a huge boost to new bike facilities over the last few years – but its initial 3-year funding period ends in mid 2018. And well before that happens, both Auckland Transport and NZTA will need to have a strong vision of where to go next, and a programme of projects prioritized and ready to go. That’s why, over the last six months, Bike Auckland has been working behind the scenes on the next tranche of Auckland’s bike infrastructure, 2018-2021. With an eye to round numbers – and the “vision thing” – we called it the Auckland Bike Blueprint 2020, and have been sharing it with AT and NZTA to help inform their official plans. If you’ve …
Comments 21

Cycling forever – an ageless joy

Cycling forever – an ageless joyJane Admore, our membership secretary, recently discovered a wonderful new volunteer initiative that welcomes older people back to the joy of bikes. She shares the story, below. Recently, I met Zac and Jackie from Wisconsin via Warm Showers (the worldwide network of cycle tourists hosting cycle tourists). They were biking and tramping their way around various great places in New Zealand, following Jackie’s happy experiences as an exchange student in Dunedin years ago. A mutual bike-mad mentioned that Zac was involved in Cycling Without Age, an initiative founded in Denmark in 2012 which uses Christiana bikes or tri-shaws to give older people a chance to re-experience the joy of riding. As the motto goes, everyone deserves ‘the right to …
Comments 0

Bikes in the news: from the margins to the centre

Bikes in the news: from the margins to the centreJust us, or… is there a bit of a tone-shift lately in the way bikes are being covered in the news? Matt Heath’s Herald column in praise of Lightpath made us smile on a Monday morning. Admittedly, it’s hard not to break out in a grin when you read a description like this: I know it had to close down for a re-pinking, but boy is it futuristic. I ride that Utopian overpass to work every morning. The lights are so bright and blue. The pinks so pink. The convenience so convenient. You feel like you’re on a Tron Light Cycle. Like you’re in a Battlestar Galactica launch tunnel. Matt’s point is, why quibble about …
Comments 0

Fear’s fair – but how rational is our risk assessment?

Fear's fair - but how rational is our risk assessment?Keen to ride your bike around town, but worried it’s a risky business? You’re not alone, and that’s why we work for safer streets for people on bikes. But hold up! When you crunch the numbers, even under current conditions, riding a bike is not nearly as dangerous as you might think, compared to other things we get up to. As reported in the NZ Herald, new research from a team led by Prof. Alistair Woodward at the University of Auckland shows that biking is about as safe as doing DIY around the house. We’re glad to be able to share Alistair’s own blog post on the project (also published at Sciblogs)…. “It is too dangerous” is the reason given most commonly for …
Comments 4

Vive la cycling révolution! A Kiwi in Paris

Vive la cycling révolution! A Kiwi in ParisRoger Dungan is a Kiwi living and working in Paris, who writes about his experiences cycling on the roads of France at his blog Thousandth Fastest. We’re delighted to share his most recent blog post, on the surprising joys of city biking….  We need a cycling revolution. A gentle one, not an angry one. But a revolution nonetheless. There’s a limit to how interesting my tales of my half-arsed cycling efforts can be. Even for me. So I’ll be saying a bit about some other things from time to time as well.  This is one of those times. This is still bike related (the maxim ‘write what you know’ still applies), but …
Comments 0

Last chance to weigh in on the East-West Link

Last chance to weigh in on the East-West LinkIt’s crunch time for Onehunga. The Environment Protection Agency is holding a Board of Inquiry on the proposed East-West Link from SH1 to Onehunga along the inlet foreshore. Public feedback is open until 5pm on Wednesday 22 March 2017, and there’s a handy link for online submissions on this page.  We’ve written before about our doubts about the project (here, here, and here), which have grown as the estimated cost has ballooned – and we’re not alone in being unconvinced, with the wider community and some at Council also expressing concern. Even though some aspects of the proposal will be great for cycling (among other things), and we generally have a good working relationship with NZTA, our concerns are such that we can’t support …
Comment 1

Talking to Local Boards 101: a timely workshop

Talking to Local Boards 101: a timely workshopYou probably have ideas about how Auckland should spend your rates. And, as a local, you probably have smart ideas about clever projects in your neighbourhood that would make life better for people on bikes (or on foot). Well, good news: it’s budget time – which means consultation is now open for your thoughts on the city’s budgets and priorities over the next three years. And your Local Board could use your help identifying possible projects. So how do you get the ball rolling – especially if you’ve never approached a Local Board before? Bike Auckland to the rescue! We’re running a Bike Burb Hui that will take you through the ins and outs of making a submission – and most importantly, …
Comment 1

Never Too Old – taking a spin with the YMCA

Never Too Old - taking a spin with the YMCAOn a sunny Thursday in February, I took a spin around the city and out along Tamaki Drive with a group of senior Aucklanders on bikes, the first in a series of planned monthly rides. The convivial group has emerged from the city branch of the YMCA’s Never2Old fitness programme, under the guidance of Clare Lynch, with some helpful e-bike training along the way. The group has a ‘no rider left behind’ policy, and the rides are organized along safe routes at comfortable speeds, and culminate in an enjoyable lunch. I’d only intended to meet the group on Lightpath and say hello, but found myself zooming down Grafton Gully and then biking round the waterfront, hanging …
Comments 0

Bringing history to light – an Auckland bikeway pioneer

Bringing history to light – an Auckland bikeway pioneerTamaki Drive’s famous cycleway turns 41 today. Despite showing its age a bit, it’s our jewel in the crown, and part of Auckland’s busiest bike route. To celebrate its birthday, we’d like to share some wonderful never-before-seen photos of opening day that recently came our way. The photos arrived in an email to Skypath champion Bevan Woodward from David Lewis, who signed himself “Birkenhead Resident and Passionate Skypath Believer”. As you’ll discover below, David has a very special connection to those early Auckland bike visionaries, who not only believed in miracles but managed to accomplish one. David’s words were so resonant we’ve included his message in full, along with the magical photos of the early believers. Do you recognize anyone? We’d love to …
Comments 5

How 2km of concrete has changed one family’s life

How 2km of concrete has changed one family's lifeCharmaine, who blogs as ‘Buzzy in the Burbs‘, is keen to inspire others to get out and explore far and wide, be it on foot or bike. She shares with us how her family has fallen in love with the new cycleway in their back yard… Who would have thought 2km of concrete would change the way my family and I exercise? Well, the Glen Innes to Tamaki Drive Cycle Path (Te Ara ki Uta ki Tai) has done just that, with the arrival of the first 1.7km-long stage of what will soon be a great pathway from the eastern suburbs to the city. I have always enjoyed exercising, and BC (Before Children) …
Comment 1

This Spokes Ladies ride will bowl you over

This Spokes Ladies ride will bowl you overIt’s the beginning of the month again, and the Spokes Ladies are on a roll! Join them on Wednesday 1st March for a friendly, casual ride. It’s a super friendly bunch, and all bike types/ styles/ ages/ fitness levels and speeds are encouraged. The Spokes Ladies Rides, brought to you by Frocks on Bikes, have a ‘give it a go’ inclusive policy. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a newbie or hardcore, it’s just about getting women of all kinds on bikes together. 6pm Meet at the entrance to St Kevins Arcade (191 -197 Karangahape Road) Have photos of you and your bike taken by a lovely professional photographer. NB the photo shoot isn’t compulsory, but …
Comments 0

March onwards to Bike Breakfast

March onwards to Bike BreakfastMarch is nearly upon us, which means farewell to February and the Bike Challenge… but Bike Breakfast is on its way. The March Bike Breakfast is this Thursday (the 2nd) from 7:30am, at Scarecrow Kitchen on the corner of Kitchener Street and Victoria Street in the CBD. As always, everyone is warmly welcome – no need to arrive by bike, it’s absolutely free, just bring an appetite for great bike chat, good company, and fine coffee. And a bonus: our wonderful Duncan, who organizes the breakfasts, will shout you coffee… because he’s absolutely smoked the Bike Challenge Leader Board for the most days riding to work AND the highest number …
Comments 0

Three questions for your bike mechanic: Sergio Ibanez  

Three questions for your bike mechanic: Sergio Ibanez   Sergio Ibanez is the mechanic at one of Auckland’s most-recognised bike shops, Bike Barn on the corner of Symonds Street and Khyber Pass Road. Originally from Madrid, Sergio knows bikes inside out – he’s competed on them, repaired them and has even managed a race team. Who better to answer three questions about feeding and watering one’s bicycle? Ross Inglis poses the questions: What’s the difference between a bike service and an overhaul, and how do I know which my bike needs? A bike service can include adjusting brakes or gears if they are not working properly, replacing broken parts or greasing your wheel hubs. An overhaul is much more …
Comments 6

Bikes in Schools – it’s Pt England’s turn!

Bikes in Schools - it's Pt England's turn!It was all smiles at Point England School this week, with the formal launch of their new bike track and bike fleet, thanks to the wonderful Bikes in Schools programme. Point England is the 20th Auckland school to be so lucky – with five more fully funded and ready to go (Whangaparaoa Primary’s bike track opens on 1 March), and another two dozen currently fund-raising. Each school gets a full package of kids’ bikes in different sizes, plus helmets; bike skills training and a bike track to practice skills on; and secure storage for the bikes within school grounds. It’s all accomplished under the auspices of the Bike On Trust, and paid for by fundraising …
Comment 1

Team Xero loves to ride: a workplace challenge

Team Xero loves to ride: a workplace challengeThere’s one week left in the 2017 Love to Ride Aotearoa Bike Challenge, and Team Xero’s Auckland office has just taken the lead in their workplace size category on the Auckland leaderboard. Xero’s bike-boosting cheerleader and all-round excellent person Genny gives us the scoop: The Bike Challenge is like my own personal Tour de France that I’ve been training for all year. Encouraging people to bike is a full time obsession of mine, and I’m proud to say I’ve had a few successes over the years. I’m pretty stoked when I get a message from someone saying ‘I bought a bike – inspired by you!’ The Love to Ride challenge gives my evangelical zeal a workplace legitimacy that I exploit to …
Comments 2