On Thursday 1 December, Bike Auckland pulled together a party – with logistical support from Auckland Transport’s Walking & Cycling team – to coincide with K Road’s First Thursdays Carnival.

We wanted to celebrate a year of Lightpath, and mark what’s been officially the busiest year ever for building a more bikeable city, under the auspices of a Transport Minister who really gets it, and unprecedented collaborations between the national and local agencies; not to mention gung-ho support from local boards and widespread enthusiasm at the community level.

The party was a rough and ready rumbustification; a pop-up event in the spirit of the First Hoon. But we had the most important thing you need for a birthday party: a great big enormous spectacular and delicious cake, made by Jenny Nicholls from For Heaven’s Cake, who moved heaven and earth (and kilos of cake!) to create it for us in time.

Plus, of course, hundreds of fabulous guests, which is to say, all of you who found time to bike to town on a Thursday evening for a promise of nothing more than fun, sunset… and sweet, sweet cake.

Have a city’s people spontaneously gathered to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to a bike path before? A bit nutty, perhaps – but entirely heartfelt. Lightpath/ Te Ara i Whiti, in all its hot pink audacity, has become a symbol not just of the beginning of a revolution in everyday urban biking, but of a whole new feeling about our city. Auckland’s a big, busy, buzzy place, with a bunch of things that need working on, sure. But it’s all right there under our noses, just waiting to be reclaimed with imagination and colour and wit.

The other occasion to be celebrated that night, although we didn’t make a big fuss of it, was a full year of Cycle Action transforming into Bike Auckland. The same staunch advocacy and bridge-building on your behalf, but we reckon our new colours are flying high, eh?

Happy birthday, dear Lightpath… and happy birthday to us!

There’s a fabulous album of photos over on Facebook (cheers to Scottie T and Kim Arrowsmith for their artfulness in capturing a fast-moving event so quickly and beautifully). Please enjoy a few of our favourites below, starting with a great video that captures the spirit of the evening:

Lightpath 1st Birthday 01.12.2016
The cake! A bikeable city in edible form.
Lightpath 1st Birthday 01.12.2016
Seriously, this cake. The level of detail was astounding.
Lightpath 1st Birthday 01.12.2016
Look at the trains on the North Shore! One day, for real.
Lightpath 1st Birthday 01.12.2016
Zane’s hot pink leg warmers!
Lightpath 1st Birthday 01.12.2016
Waiting to ride…
Lightpath 1st Birthday 01.12.2016
Off we go! Hi-viz bike style with a twist.
Lightpath 1st Birthday 01.12.2016
Real men wear pink, especially when it matches the bike path.
Barb rallying the crowd, paying tribute to everyone who created this amazing space.
Barb rallying the crowd, paying tribute to everyone who created this amazing space.
Debbie and Max start cutting the cake - little helpers standing by!
Debbie and Max start cutting the cake – little helpers standing by!
Here comes the cake...!
Here comes the cake…!
Lightpath 1st Birthday 01.12.2016
Barb delivering more cake…
Lightpath 1st Birthday 01.12.2016
Cake and conversation.
Lightpath 1st Birthday 01.12.2016
Up past bedtime, for entirely wonderful reasons.
Lightpath 1st Birthday 01.12.2016
Teau and the Mangere BikeFIT crew; Barb; Pippa Coom and Barbara Grace.
Lightpath 1st Birthday 01.12.2016
Even as the sun went down, Bike Onehunga stuck around for fun.
Lightpath 1st Birthday 01.12.2016
Homeward bound…
We couldn't finish the whole cake in one night... so we delivered most of the North Shore to the City Mission to share with their clients.
And despite everyone’s best efforts, we couldn’t finish the whole cake in one night… so the next day, we delivered most of the North Shore to the City Mission to share with their clients.
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